Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

Stoltenberg to Convene NATO Meeting on Friday to Discuss Navalny Situation

Sputnik – 03.09.2020

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg will convene an emergency meeting on Friday to discuss the situation involving Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny, the alliance’s spokeswoman, Oana Lungescu, said on Thursday.

Navalny is currently undergoing treatment in a German hospital after suffering a medical emergency in late August. Berlin on Wednesday said that a German military laboratory possessed undeniable proof of the 44-year-old’s intoxication with a nerve agent from the Novichok group. The Russian Foreign Ministry noted in response that the German government’s claims of Navalny’s poisoning lacked evidence and added that it was perplexing why Berlin first addressed the EU, NATO and third parties, such as the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, instead of contacting Russia directly.

Lungescu took to Twitter to announce the upcoming meeting.

​Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier in the day that there had been no contacts between Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the issue of Navalny. He also noted that Russia was interested in shedding the light on the situation as much as anyone else, however, Germany did not provide any information.

EU Urges Russia to Cooperate With OPCW in Navalny Case for Impartial Probe, Borrell Says

The European Union urges Russia to cooperate with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in the situation with Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny to ensure an impartial international investigation, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a statement.

“The European Union condemns in the strongest possible terms the assassination attempt on Alexei Navalny. … The European Union calls upon the Russian Federation to fully cooperate with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to ensure an impartial international investigation,” the statement says.

The EU is calling for an international response to the situation with Navalny and reserves the right to impose sanctions, Borrell added.

The EU will continue to closely monitor the situation and consider possible implications, he said.

September 3, 2020 Posted by | Economics, False Flag Terrorism | , , , | 2 Comments

More Explosive Leaks From OPCW Show Trump Bombed Syria On False Grounds

By Tyler Durden | ZeroHedge | July 27, 2020

As the ongoing increased sanctions regimen on Syria demonstrates, Washington’s pursuit of regime change against Assad is not over, despite Damascus clearly having won the war, and with the US having wisely ditched talk of some kind of overt major Iraq-style military intervention (as was the case under Obama in August 2013).

While mainstream media has largely “moved on” from coverage of Syria (so much for feigned humanitarian “concern” for millions of Syrians suffering under severe American-led sanctions!), some analysts like independent journalist Aaron Maté have been detailing damning leaks from the chemical weapons watchdog Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

“A series of leaked documents from the OPCW raise the possibility that the Trump administration bombed Syria on false grounds and pressured officials at the world’s top chemical weapons watchdog to cover it up,” Maté’s latest report in The Nation begins.

“Two OPCW officials, highly regarded scientists with more than 25 years of combined experience at the organization, challenged the whitewash from inside. Yet unlike many whistle-blowers of the Trump era, they have found no champion, or even an audience, within establishment circles in the United States,” the report continues.

Recall that President Trump bombed Syria on two occasions. On the last occasion, in April 2018, Damascus was pummeled with a series of major tomahawk missile strikes ostensibly in response to claims by the primarily Saudi-backed jihadist group Jaysh al-Islam that the Syrian Army had carried out a chemical weapons attack on civilians. It was the all too familiar pattern which went back to 2013: “rebels” on the brink of being wiped out make a last ditch unverified claim in order to draw Western military support, then the mainstream media runs with it because it already fits the narrative of the “monster” Assad, and then right away it’s American and allied “bombs away” with no questions asked.

But Maté now documents an avalanche of leaks and internal dissent within the global chemical weapons watchdog group OPCW to say the US once again attacked a Middle East country based on lies (and just like in neighboring Iraq, don’t forget that some 1,000 or more American troops occupy the oil-rich northeast section of Syria).

Maté’s report finds that “Since May 2019, internal OPCW documents, including a trove published by WikiLeaks, reveal that the Douma investigators’ initial report reached different conclusions than their organization’s published version. They were overruled by senior officials who kept evidence from the public.”

The Nation report outlines leaks’ key revelations as follows:

Senior OPCW officials reedited the Douma investigators’ initial report to produce a version that sharply deviated from the original. Key facts were removed or misrepresented and conclusions were rewritten to support the allegation that a chlorine gas attack had occurred in Douma. Yet the team’s initial report did not conclude that a chemical attack occurred, and left open the possibility that victims were killed in a “non-chemical related” incident.

Four experts from a OPCW and NATO-member state conducted a toxicology review at the OPCW team’s request. They concluded that observed symptoms of the civilians in Douma, particularly the rapid onset of excessive frothing, as well as the concentration of victims filmed in the apartment building so close to fresh air, “were inconsistent with exposure to chlorine, and no other obvious candidate chemical causing the symptoms could be identified.”

Chemical tests of the samples collected in Douma showed that chlorine compounds were, in most cases, detected at what amounted to trace quantities in the parts-per-billion range. Yet this finding was not disclosed publicly. Furthermore, it later emerged that the chemicals themselves did not stand out as unique: According to the author of the initial report, the OPCW’s top expert in chemical weapons chemistry, they could have resulted from contact with household products such as bleach or come from chlorinated water or wood preservatives.

The author of the initial report protested the revisions in an e-mail expressing his “gravest concern.” The altered version “misrepresents the facts,” he wrote, thereby “undermining its credibility.”

Following the e-mail of protest over the manipulation of the team’s findings, the OPCW published a watered-down interim report in July 2018. Around that time, OPCW executives decreed that the probe would be handled by a so-called “core team,” which excluded all of the Douma investigators who had traveled to Syria, except for one paramedic. It was this core team—not the inspectors who had been deployed to Douma and signed off on the original document—that produced the final report of March 2019.

After the e-mail of protest, and just days before the interim report was published on July 6, a US government delegation met with members of the investigation team to try to convince them that the Syrian government had committed a chemical attack with chlorine. According to veteran reporter Jonathan Steele, who interviewed one of the whistle-blowers, the Douma team saw the meeting as “unacceptable pressure and a violation of the OPCW’s declared principles of independence and impartiality.” Interference by state parties is explicitly prohibited under the Chemical Weapons Convention.

The inference drawn from the OPCW’s final report—widely disseminated, including by the Trump administration—was that gas cylinders found in Douma likely came from Syrian military aircraft. An unpublished engineering study reached the opposite conclusion. The study evaluated competing hypotheses: Either the cylinders were dropped from the sky or they were manually placed. There is “a higher probability,” it concluded, “that both cylinders were manually placed… rather than being delivered from aircraft.” At “Location 4,” where a cylinder was found on a bed, the study determined that the cylinder was too large to have penetrated the hole in the roof above; at the other site, “Location 2,” the observed damage to the cylinder and to the roof it allegedly penetrated were incompatible with an aircraft bombing. Ballistics experts also said it was more likely that the crater had been made by an explosion, probably from an artillery round, a rocket, or a mortar. With both cylinders, the study concluded, “the alternative hypothesis”—that the cylinders were manually placed and that the craters were caused by other means—”produced the only plausible explanation for observations at the scene.”

Of course, the media is seeking for these revelations to be memory-holed right way.

They are being conveniently ignored, and not just ignored, but covered up.

* * *

Read the full in-depth investigative report at The Nation.

July 28, 2020 Posted by | Deception | , , | 3 Comments

OPCW Gives Syria 90 Days to Declare Chemical Weapons

Sputnik – 09.07.2020

Syria has until October to declare to the UN chemical weapons watchdog its stockpile of illegal toxins or face “appropriate action,” the OPCW executive council agreed Thursday.

An investigative team of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons concluded in April that the Syrian government used sarin and chlorine in aerial attacks on the town of Ltamenah in March 2017, hurting dozens of people.

The OPCW’s 41-member executive council requested in its decision that Syria “declare to the Secretariat all of the chemical weapons it currently possesses… as well as chemical weapons production facilities and other related facilities.”

It is also expected to declare facilities where the chemical weapons used in the attacks on March 24, 25, and 30 in 2017 were developed, produced, stockpiled and stored for delivery.

If Syria fails to “redress the situation,” the council warned it will recommend action against it at the next annual conference of all 193 member states, scheduled from November 30 to December 4.

Syria has repeatedly denied using chemical weapons after having them destroyed as part of a Russia-brokered agreement with OPCW in 2013. The government accuses militants of staging chemical attacks, used by Western powers to justify strikes on its territory in 2018.

July 9, 2020 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | | 3 Comments

Russia Conducting Its Own Investigation Into Alleged Chemical Attacks in Syria – Ambassador to UN

Sputnik – 12.05.2020

UNITED NATIONS – Russia is conducting its own investigation into alleged chemical attacks in Syria and will share its conclusions with the world, Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia told reporters on Tuesday.

“We are conducting our own expert investigation and we will share its results with you and international community”, Nebenzia said during a video briefing.

In late April, the Russian Foreign Ministry said the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) had sacrificed its reputation to serve the West’s geopolitical ambition in Syria, after the body published the first report of its newly created investigation and identification team two weeks ago, blaming the alleged chemical attacks in the Syrian town of Al Lataminah in Hama province in March 2017 on the country’s government.

Russia argued that the investigative body had been set up in violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention. Only the UN Security Council has the right to apportion blame for chemical attacks.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry has slammed the OPCW document as fabricated, adding that it is based on materials provided by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly known as Al-Nusra Front, an offshoot of Al-Qaeda).

May 12, 2020 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | Leave a comment

OPCW head FALSELY described Syria whistleblower inspectors to discredit them, new documents show

RT | May 6, 2020

New documents leaked from the global chemical watchdog show that two inspectors blowing the whistle about the 2018 Douma incident in Syria were right, and the director seeking to discredit them was wrong.

Two inspectors with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) have challenged the organization’s final report on the April 2018 incident, which they say was altered to dismiss their findings and validate after the fact the US, UK and French missile strikes against the government in Damascus.

OPCW Director General Fernando Arias responded earlier this year by describing them as “rogue” inspectors who weren’t even members of the mission. Documents obtained by investigative journalist Aaron Mate at Greyzone, however, show that Arias’ statements were false or misleading.

Arias claimed that South African inspector Ian Henderson was “not a member” of the fact-finding mission (FFM) dispatched to Douma, and that he had played a “minor supporting role.” However, the documents from April 2018 obtained by the Grayzone show that OPCW directors were “happy” to have Henderson lead the visits to the most important locations in Douma: the hospital and the sites of alleged chlorine cylinder impact, for instance.

Another document, described as a sensitive security-planning memorandum known as CONOPS, lists Henderson as part of the FFM under the section “Mission Personnel.”

Last, but not least, the “F038” memorandum to the Syrian government lists Henderson as “part of the team conducting the technical secretariat visits,” notifying Damascus of his role. Henderson has previously explained publicly that he was on a mission in Nepal, and was assigned to Douma immediately upon his return.

Moreover, another OPCW document shows that Henderson took over the OPCW Damascus command post on May 3, 2018 – two days after returning from Douma. This goes directly against Arias’ version of events, according to which Henderson was already in Damascus, happened to play a minor role in the Douma mission, and then went “rogue” to sabotage the organization for reasons unknown.

Henderson and another whistleblower inspector – who remains anonymous – have said for months that they had not gone rogue, but were sidelined by OPCW because they produced evidence suggesting the Douma incident had been staged by the Army of Islam militants who controlled the area at the time. The final OPCW report, they contend, was doctored to retroactively justify the US, UK and French missile strikes and enable them to blame Damascus.

The OPCW responded to their revelations by painting them as disgruntled employees who breached confidentiality and lacked expertise and access to all the evidence. Their own documents now clearly show those statements to be false.

May 7, 2020 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism | | Leave a comment

OPCW insiders dispute SECOND chemical weapons probe on Syria, blast ‘glaring technical weaknesses’

RT | April 28, 2020

A group of current and former OPCW employees have explosively slammed the organization for producing what they say is yet another “procedurally and scientifically flawed” report into alleged chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

Writing at the Grayzone, the insiders denounced the “compromised” investigation into chemical incidents in the town of Ltamenah in March 2017. The probe was conducted by the watchdog’s newly formed Investigation and Identification Team (IIT), which claimed there are “reasonable grounds to believe” the Syrian government was responsible.

The IIT concluded that sarin and chlorine bombs were dropped by Syrian forces on Ltamenah in a series of attacks in March 2017, saying it was “unable to identify any other plausible explanation.” The Russian Foreign Ministry noted that the alleged evidence gathered by the team came mostly from anti-government groups eager to see a regime change and could only be described as “misinformation.”

The IIT report on Ltamenah was instantly amplified by Western media as fact, despite claims by high-level OPCW whistleblowers that the organization’s leadership had suppressed evidence during a previous probe into an alleged chemical attack in Douma in 2018. The suppressed evidence, in that instance, had strongly suggested the incident may have been staged by jihadist rebel groups in order to frame the Syrian government and trigger a Western intervention. The OPCW, however, publicly offered a narrative which backed up Western claims of Syrian guilt, legitimizing US, British and French air strikes conducted in the immediate aftermath of the incident.

The fact that insiders are now also disputing the credibility of the Ltamenah report proves that “dissension within the OPCW ranks extends well beyond the Douma investigation,” the Grayzone said in its editor’s note.

The reports are so flawed and “politically motivated” that many OPCW professionals “no longer wish to be associated” with them, the group wrote, and many feel they should not be seen as representing the work of OPCW inspectors at all.

The Ltamenah report highlights the fact that “influential state parties” are misusing the OPCW to further their foreign policy objectives, and that the IIT was formed not to investigate the incidents but “simply to find the Syrian government guilty,” they said.

Indeed, the ITT merely “glossed over” some “glaring technical weaknesses” in reports from fact-finding missions to Ltamenah. Further damaging the report’s credibility is the fact that not one single member of the IIT conducted a field investigation, and “literally everything” in the case was provided by enemies of the Syrian government – some of whom are reportedly “well-known British military figureheads” who stood to gain by implicating the Syrian government, they said.

The OPCW insiders also took issue with the composition of the IIT, which surprisingly is made up of investigators “without any background or expertise in chemistry.” These so-called investigators are reliant on an “approved” list of “nameless, faceless” experts who represent Western intelligence agencies — a situation which suggests “devious and sinister” motives. This “one-sided array of experts” may be enough by itself to invalidate the conclusions of the IIT, they said.

While the IIT did lend some credence to the possibility of the attacks being staged, it quickly became clear that they did so only “with the express purpose of dismissing it,” they added.

In the article, the staff also briefly examined the question of motive, saying it “figures squarely within the realm of criminal investigation.” It is fair to question why the Syrian government would seemingly only use chemical weapons when they were “in control” of the conflict and not at their most desperate moments, they said.

Referring to a claim that chemical weapons, including sarin gas, were being stored at Shayrat Airbase in 2017, the group says the evidence ranks alongside intelligence reports leading up to the 2003 US invasion of Iraq in terms of its level of credibility.

The combination of the political bias, the compromised and flawed evidence, the lack of transparency and the singular reliance upon only one side of the story, leads to “serious doubts” about the IIT’s conclusions, the staff wrote.

What the IIT produced was simply the “desired Western opinion” about what “could have” happened. The “weak language” stating there are “reasonable grounds to believe” the Syrian government was responsible arguably implies a 50/50 scenario in which there are also reasonable grounds “not to believe” it, they said.

“At the end of the day, we must be clear that this is little more than an expression of a one-sided opinion,” they wrote.

Finally, the OPCW insiders took aim at the “complicit” mainstream media for interpreting the shaky conclusions of the investigation as hard fact, ensuring the flawed report “is met with no scientific challenge whatsoever.”

April 28, 2020 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | | 1 Comment

All Smoke and No Gun at the OPCW

By Jeremy Salt | American Herald Tribune | April 16, 2020

Over the past decade, the London Guardian has never reported the war on Syria in any way commensurate with the principles of true journalism. It is had been running a line, consistently slanted to do as much damage to the Syrian government as possible. As such, it has been a central conduit in the propaganda war. It closed down ‘comment is free’ on its Syria articles long ago because well-informed readers could see what it was up to and were writing embarrassing correctives.

Throughout, its language has been the language of propaganda – ‘the regime,’ ‘Assad loyalists,’ ‘the dictator,’ ‘the rebels’, ‘the armed opposition,’ ‘the uprising,’ ‘the civil war,’ so on and on, endlessly. Its ‘coverage’ has always been calibrated to the damage it thinks it can do to the Syrian government. In fact, by supporting its ‘rebels’ and by implication the  governments arming and financing them, it has only aggravated the damage being done to Syria and its people who, all the evidence suggests, overwhelmingly support their president and their army, not these ‘rebels.’

Silent when its ‘rebels’ are taking a beating, the Guardian springs to life the moment there’s a fresh opportunity to abuse Syria’s president. Accordingly, when the OPCW (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) issued its latest report on chemical weapon usage in Syria, its sibling Sunday paper, the Observer, was quick off the mark, running a headline on April 12 reading “The Observer view on the smoking gun that should force Assad to face justice.” It went on: “For the first time the world’s chemical weapons watchdog has directly accused Syria’s leadership of ordering illegal attacks on its own people.” Stating accusations from concealed sources as fact, it concludes that “the tyrant in Damascus has not yet won.”

As it turns out, the OPCW report is all smoke but no gun. Unsurprisingly, given their Syria coverage, the Guardian and the Observer are not even interested in distinguishing between the two. For their purposes, the smoke is as good as the gun. What they call “the world’s chemical weapons watchdog” is actually a watchdog protecting the interests of the governments attacking Syria through armed proxies. The Guardian and the Observer are watchdogs protecting the same interests, which in this case means protecting a tainted report coming from a tainted source.

Last year whistleblowers revealed that the OPCW executive had suppressed the interim report by the Fact Finding Mission (FFM) on the alleged chemical weapons attack on Douma in April 2018, and had issued a doctored final report, reversing the on-the-spot findings of its own experts.

The final report concluded that the cylinder said to have crashed through a roof had probably been dropped from the air when its own engineers had arrived at the “higher probability” that it had been placed there manually. As for the heavy amounts of chlorine it suggested had been released from this cylinder, killing 43 people, according to anonymous “witnesses”, what its own chemists said they found in the air were microparticles no different from what would have been in the air normally. On January 20 this year, the OPCW’s inspection team leader at Douma, Ian Henderson, told a specially convened session of the UN Security Council that the evidence indicated there had been no chemical weapons attack at all at Douma.

Its fraudulent behavior exposed, the OPCW secretariat tried to dismiss the evidence of its whistleblower engineers and scientists as “subjective” but the damage to its credibility was terminal, and in seeking to uphold a tainted report from a tainted organization, the Guardian and the Observer only underscore the tainted nature of their own ‘reporting’ and editorials on Syria.

Wisely, in this latest report, dated April 8, “The First Report by the OPCW Investigation and Identification Team” (IIT), a body established in 2018, the OPCW does not return to what happened at Douma in 2018.  The subject matter this time is chlorine and sarin attacks said to have been carried out in and around the “village” of Ltameneh on March 24, 25 and 30, 2017.

In fact, Al Lataminah (“Llatameneh”) is not a “village” as described in the IIT report but a town with a population of more than 16,000, according to the census of 2004. This has probably shifted upwards or downwards since then. Close to Hama and only a few kilometers from the strategically important M5 highway, the town is located within territory in the Hama governorate that was under the control of Hayat Tahrir al Sham and other terrorist factions when the chemical weapons attacks were said to have taken place in 2017. Al Lataminah itself was the headquarters of Jaysh al ‘Izza (Army of Glory).

According to the IIT, there were three attacks, one of chlorine and two of sarin, on March 24, 25 and 30, each in cylinders or bombs dropped from the air by Syrian air force SU (Sukhoi) 22 fighter aircraft or helicopters. The format of the report is identical to the format of all its reports, and indeed all the reports put out by the UN’s Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic. Lots of acronyms, weighty officious language implying authority, lots of imputations but virtually nothing in the form of evidence that would stand up in a court.

The sources, individual, institutional and governmental (“state parties”) are all concealed. The OPCW says it sought entry into Syria, but was ignored by the Syrian government, which is hardly surprising given the fakery of its report on Douma. It talks of witnesses, who, as its investigators were not on the spot inside Syria, have to be regarded as alleged witnesses. It does not say who they were or where they were when interviewed, but Turkey would be most likely. Neither is there any mention of possible affiliations, perhaps to the White Helmets or one of the armed groups.

The report ties the alleged attacks to the close proximity of Syrian airbases and the daily activity of Syrian aircraft as they take off and return.  Syria is fighting a war against terrorist groups that have infiltrated and taken over large parts of the Hama and Idlib governorates, so of course military planes and helicopters are frequently in the air. The ITT imputations that they might have been or could have been involved in chemical weapons attacks are devoid of substance.

The IIT report talks confidently of its chain of custody, including shell remnants said to have been taken from craters to one of its (unidentified) designated laboratories.  It does not say who allegedly carried this material out of Syria but as Jaysh al ‘Izza was then in control of the town, one of its members or its sympathizers, committed to the destruction of the Syrian government and out to blacken its name whenever possible,  is the most likely.

Included in the IIT evidential chain is information “obtained” during interviews, information “previously” provided by “witnesses,” interviews with “persons of interest” along with the evidence of other unidentified “witnesses” to the attacks and people affected by them. Again, these are alleged witnesses to an alleged attack and people allegedly affected by these alleged attacks. They were NOT interviewed in Syria and the IIT report provides no proof of their authenticity.

The IIT’s further sources include unidentified videos and  “documents,” as well as “relevant material” from “various sources,” briefings and advice from unidentified “experts” and “specialists,” information from unidentified “open sources” and “forensic institutes,” and unspecified input from unidentified “state parties.”

Noting the use of tunnels at Al Lataminah by Jaish al ‘Izza, a “military expert” advising the IIT “noted [that] the use of chemical weapons in this area would not be inconsistent [my italics] with a strategy aimed at inflicting terror on both civilians and combatants.” Neither, of course, on the basis of past compelling evidence, would it be inconsistent with the proven attempts by terrorist groups to lure outside governments into launching an air war on Syria by staging faked chemical weapons attacks. The IIT refers to the possibility of a staged attack, but does not take it seriously.

It claims to have received information “from multiple sources”, unidentified of course, that senior Syrian Republican Guard officers (names redacted) sent orders to “former members” of the “previously-designated branch 450, a component of the Syrian Arab Republic’s chemical weapons programme responsible for the storage, mixing and filling of chemical weapons, including sarin, to prepare items for use in the defense of Hama.”  By imputation, these “items” were chemical weapons. The IIT also claimed to have “obtained information” that in March 2017, sarin precursors were being stored at a facility at Him Shinshar, in the Homs governorate.

The ITT notes that branch 450 was “officially” dissolved in 2013, insinuating, again, that it wasn’t really, while providing no evidence at all to back up the “information” received from some unnamed source that the Syrian government still had a stock of sarin precursors. It does not say where the “former members” are now, or what they are doing, and provides no hard evidence at all to back up the claim by hidden “multiple sources” that in 2017 they were still involved in the preparation of chemical weapons

The report refers to satellite imaging of the Shayrat airbase (provided by whom?) showing, “according to a specialist” (in what?) “structures” that “could have been used [my italics] to store chemical weapons.”  Perhaps they also could have been used to store engine parts, garden tools, food for the base canteen or cleaning material for the toilet blocks but the unknown contents of these “structures” are all part of the buildup to the IIT report’s conclusion that it was “very likely” Syrian air force planes did drop chemical weapons on Al Lataminah.

The same imagery indicated that part of the Hama airbase was a “possible barrel bomb storage depot” with a number of items visible as “possible barrel bombs.” No doubt there is a vast range of other possibilities for what these “items” might have been, so why pick just this one? The ITT also claimed to have “obtained information” that chlorine barrel bombs had been prepared at nearby Masyaf, the 12th century center of the Ismaili fidais (sacrificers) who have passed into history as the Order of the Assassins. According to the IIT’s source, they were taken to Hama, but without there being any inkling of who provided this “information,” such a claim cannot possibly be taken at face value.

The IIT claimed to have “received information” that 176 people were admitted to hospital after the (alleged) sarin attack on March 24 but admitted that it had been unable to locate the medical records. Clearly they would have been of paramount importance in confirming what had taken place, and medical staff in a hospital in a town controlled by Jaysh al ‘Izza could surely have been easily persuaded to provide them. There is no attempt by the ITT, however, to explain why its sources could not come up with photocopies of at least one or two of these records, if indeed there was an attack, if there were indeed casualties and if there were indeed medical records to photocopy.

The IIT further claims to have interviewed casualties and medical staff who described symptoms toxicologists found “plausible” as being consistent with the effects of nerve gas. In fact, sarin is so deadly that it can kill within one to ten minutes, with those who survive often suffering permanent brain damage, raising further questions about its alleged use at Al Lataminah. There is no indication in the IIT report that any of these alleged victims were subjected to a medical examination either in Syria or wherever it was that they were later interviewed. For a team of investigators determined to get to the truth, one would have thought this also should have been a priority.

The IIT claimed to have interviewed individuals “with direct knowledge” of the attacks. It does not say where they were interviewed and how it knew they had “direct knowledge” of the alleged attacks.  It further claims that munitions remnants (allegedly) taken from a crater “could be linked” to “potential chemical weapons use.” “Could be” and “potential” are hardly persuasive.

Samples were (allegedly) taken from one crater on March 26, 2017, but not delivered to the FFM until August 12. There is no indication of who in this Jaysh al ‘Izza-controlled town dug up the samples and gave them to the FFM nearly five months later. One would have to conclude that it was most likely someone from Jaysh al ‘Izza, if in fact there was a crater and the samples were taken from it and not somewhere else.  Speculating further, the report says that 2000 bombs designed to carry chemical weapons had been converted into conventional bombs after 2013 and supposedly used but the secretariat had been unable to confirm that this had actually happened, conveniently leaving an avenue open to support the IIT’s claims.

The report claims that helicopters dropped four “barrel bombs” on March 25, one falling through the roof of a building, just as a cylinder full of chlorine was said to have done in the discredited report the OPCW issued on Douma. Three “witnesses” were said to have seen the event and reported that three people died as a result and 32 were injured. There is not a scintilla of confirmation for any of this. There is no indication of how the IIT was able to confirm that the individuals it interviewed in another country, apparently long after the event, really were witnesses.

Completely sweeping away the creaking foundations of all of this is the OPCW’s own earlier findings on the destruction of all the Syrian government’s stocks of chemical weapons material, following the staged attack in the Ghouta disrict, near Damascus, in August 2013, designed to draw Barack Obama over his self-declared “red line” so that he would launch an air attack.

Warned by his own intelligence agencies that the attack could be a setup, Obama pulled back at the last minute, but subsequently, the Syrian government offered to have all its stocks of chemical weapons destroyed under international supervision anyway. The process began in September 2013, the Syrian government simultaneously signing on to the International Convention on the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction (1997).

By June 2014, the OPCW, the supervising body, reported that all production capacity had been destroyed. The remaining chemicals were removed from Syria and by August 2014,  all had been destroyed. In January 2016, the OPCW affirmed that the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons material in the previous three years had been completed. Now, however, the ITT is reproducing an unsubstantiated claim that they weren’t, in order to lend spurious plausibility to its accusations that the Syrian air force dropped chemical weapons and nerve gas on and around Al Lataminah.

The appropriate resting place for this report is not the filing cabinet but the wastepaper basket. With these reports, the OPCW has completely destroyed its credibility. It needs cleaning out, beginning with the sacking of the director-general and the entire secretariat. Otherwise, it should be replaced with a new body, if the world is to have a credible independent chemical weapons watchdog and not one that appears to dance to the foreign policy interests of the US and its global satraps.

April 21, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | Leave a comment

All Smoke and No Gun at the OPCW

By Jeremy Salt | American Herald tribune | April 16, 2020

Over the past decade, the London Guardian has never reported the war on Syria in any way commensurate with the principles of true journalism. It is had been running a line, consistently slanted to do as much damage to the Syrian government as possible. As such, it has been a central conduit in the propaganda war. It closed down ‘comment is free’ on its Syria articles long ago because well-informed readers could see what it was up to and were writing embarrassing correctives.

Throughout, its language has been the language of propaganda – ‘the regime,’ ‘Assad loyalists,’ ‘the dictator,’ ‘the rebels’, ‘the armed opposition,’ ‘the uprising,’ ‘the çivil war,’ so on and on, endlessly.  Its ‘coverage’ has always been calibrated to the damage it thinks it can do to the Syrian government. In fact, by supporting its ‘rebels’ and by implication the  governments arming and financing them, it has only aggravated the damage being done to Syria and its people who, all the evidence suggests, overwhelmingly support their president and their army, not these ‘rebels.’

Silent when its ‘rebels’ are taking a beating, the Guardian springs to life the moment there’s a fresh opportunity to abuse Syria’s president. Accordingly, when the OPCW (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) issued its latest report on chemical weapon usage in Syria, its sibling Sunday paper, the Observer, was quick off the mark, running  a headline on April 12 reading “Assad to face justice.” It went on: “For the first time the world’s chemical weapons watchdog has directly accused Syria’s leadership of ordering illegal attacks on its own people.” Stating accusations from concealed sources as fact, it concludes that “the tyrant in Damascus has not yet won.”

As it turns out, the OPCW report is all smoke but no gun. Unsurprisingly, given their Syria coverage, the Guardian and the Observer are not even interested in distinguishing between the two. For their purposes, the smoke is as good as the gun. What they call “the world’s chemical weapons watchdog” is actually a watchdog protecting the interests of the governments attacking Syria through armed proxies. The Guardian and the Observer are watchdogs protecting the same interests, which in this case means protecting a tainted report coming from a tainted source.

Last year whistleblowers revealed that the OPCW executive had suppressed the interim report by the Fact Finding Mission (FFM) on the alleged chemical weapons attack on Douma in April 2018, and had issued a doctored final report, reversing the on-the-spot findings of its own experts.

The final report concluded that the cylinder said to have crashed through a roof had probably been dropped from the air when its own engineers had arrived at the “higher probability” that it had been placed there manually. As for the heavy amounts of chlorine it suggested had been released from this cylinder, killing 43 people, according to anonymous “witnesses”, what its own chemists said they found in the air were microparticles no different from what would have been in the air normally. On January 20 this year, the OPCW’s inspection team leader at Douma, Ian Henderson, told a specially convened session of the UN Security Council that the evidence indicated there had been no chemical weapons attack at all at Douma.

Its fraudulent behavior exposed, the OPCW secretariat tried to dismiss the evidence of its whistleblower engineers and scientists as “subjective” but the damage to its credibility was terminal, and in seeking to uphold a tainted report from a tainted organization,  the Guardian and the Observer only underscore the tainted nature of their own ‘reporting’ and editorials on Syria.

Wisely, in this latest report, dated April 8, “The First Report by the OPCW Investigation and Identification Team” (IIT), a body established in 2018, the OPCW does not return to what happened at Douma in 2018. The subject matter this time is chlorine and sarin attacks said to have been carried out in and around the “village” of Ltameneh on March 24, 25 and 30, 2017.

In fact, Al Lataminah (“Llatameneh”) is not a “village” as described in the IIT report but a town with a population of more than 16,000, according to the census of 2004.  This has probably shifted upwards or downwards since then. Close to Hama and only a few kilometers from the strategically important M5 highway, the town is located within territory in the Hama governorate that was under the control of Hayat Tahrir al Sham and other terrorist factions when the chemical weapons attacks were said to have taken place in 2017. Al Lataminah itself was the headquarters of Jaysh al ‘Izza (Army of Glory).

According to the IIT, there were three attacks, one of chlorine and two of sarin, on March 24, 25 and 30, each in cylinders or bombs dropped from the air by Syrian air force SU (Sukhoi) 22 fighter aircraft or helicopters. The format of the report is identical to the format of all its reports, and indeed all the reports put out by the UN’s Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic. Lots of acronyms, weighty officious language implying authority, lots of imputations but virtually nothing in the form of evidence that would stand up in a court.

The sources, individual, institutional and governmental (“state parties”) are all concealed. The OPCW says it sought entry into Syria, but was ignored by the Syrian government, which is hardly surprising given the fakery of its report on Douma. It talks of witnesses, who, as its investigators were not on the spot inside Syria, have to be regarded as alleged witnesses. It does not say who they were or where they were when interviewed, but Turkey would be most likely. Neither is there any mention of possible affiliations, perhaps to the White Helmets or one of the armed groups.

The report ties the alleged attacks to the close proximity of Syrian airbases and the daily activity of Syrian aircraft as they take off and return. Syria is fighting a war against terrorist groups that have infiltrated and taken over large parts of the Hama and Idlib governorates, so of course military planes and helicopters are frequently in the air. The ITT imputations that they might have been or could have been involved in chemical weapons attacks are devoid of substance.

The IIT report talks confidently of its chain of custody, including shell remnants said to have been taken from craters to one of its (unidentified) designated laboratories. It does not say who allegedly carried this material out of Syria but as Jaysh al ‘Izza was then in control of the town, one of its members or its sympathizers, committed to the destruction of the Syrian government and out to blacken its name whenever possible, is the most likely.

Included in the IIT evidential chain is information “obtained” during interviews, information “previously” provided by “witnesses,” interviews with “persons of interest” along with the evidence of other unidentified “witnesses” to the attacks and people affected by them. Again, these are alleged witnesses to an alleged attack and people allegedly affected by these alleged attacks. They were NOT interviewed in Syria and the IIT report provides no proof of their authenticity.

The IIT’s further sources include unidentified videos and “documents,” as well as “relevant material” from “various sources,” briefings and advice from unidentified “experts” and “specialists,” information from unidentified “open sources” and “forensic institutes,” and unspecified input from unidentified “state parties.”

Noting the use of tunnels at Al Lataminah by Jaish al ‘Izza, a “military expert” advising the IIT “noted [that] the use of chemical weapons in this area would not be inconsistent [my italics] with a strategy aimed at inflicting terror on both civilians and combatants.” Neither, of course, on the basis of past compelling evidence, would it be inconsistent with the proven attempts by terrorist groups to lure outside governments into launching an air war on Syria by staging faked chemical weapons attacks. The IIT refers to the possibility of a staged attack, but does not take it seriously.

It claims to have received information “from multiple sources”, unidentified of course, that senior Syrian Republican Guard officers (names redacted) sent orders to “former members” of the “previously-designated branch 450, a component of the Syrian Arab Republic’s chemical weapons programme responsible for the storage, mixing and filling of chemical weapons, including sarin, to prepare items for use in the defense of Hama.” By imputation, these “items” were chemical weapons. The IIT also claimed to have “obtained information” that in March 2017, sarin precursors were being stored at a facility at Him Shinshar, in the Homs governorate.

The ITT notes that branch 450 was “officially” dissolved in 2013, insinuating, again, that it wasn’t really, while providing no evidence at all to back up the “information” received from some unnamed source that the Syrian government still had a stock of sarin precursors. It does not say where the “former members” are now, or what they are doing, and provides no hard evidence at all to back up the claim by hidden “multiple sources” that in 2017 they were still involved in the preparation of chemical weapons

The report refers to satellite imaging of the Shayrat airbase (provided by whom?) showing, “according to a specialist” (in what?) “structures” that “could have been used [my italics] to store chemical weapons.”  Perhaps they also could have been used to store engine parts, garden tools, food for the base canteen or cleaning material for the toilet blocks but the unknown contents of these “structures” are all part of the buildup to the IIT report’s conclusion that it was “very likely” Syrian air force planes did drop chemical weapons on Al Lataminah.

The same imagery indicated that part of the Hama airbase was a “possible barrel bomb storage depot” with a number of items visible as “possible barrel bombs.” No doubt there is a vast range of other possibilities for what these “items” might have been, so why pick just this one? The ITT also claimed to have “obtained information” that chlorine barrel bombs had been prepared at nearby Masyaf, the 12th century center of the Ismaili fidais (sacrificers) who have passed into history as the Order of the Assassins. According to the IIT’s source, they were taken to Hama, but without there being any inkling of who provided this “information,” such a claim cannot possibly be taken at face value.

The IIT claimed to have “received information” that 176 people were admitted to hospital after the (alleged) sarin attack on March 24 but admitted that it had been unable to locate the medical records. Clearly they would have been of paramount importance in confirming what had taken place, and medical staff in a hospital in a town controlled by Jaysh al ‘Izza could surely have been easily persuaded to provide them. There is no attempt by the ITT, however, to explain why its sources could not come up with photocopies of at least one or two of these records, if indeed there was an attack, if there were indeed casualties and if there were indeed medical records to photocopy.

The IIT further claims to have interviewed casualties and medical staff who described symptoms toxicologists found “plausible” as being consistent with the effects of nerve gas. In fact, sarin is so deadly that it can kill within one to ten minutes, with those who survive often suffering permanent brain damage, raising further questions about its alleged use at Al Lataminah. There is no indication in the IIT report that any of these alleged victims were subjected to a medical examination either in Syria or wherever it was that they were later interviewed.  For a team of investigators determined to get to the truth, one would have thought this also should have been a priority.

The IIT claimed to have interviewed individuals “with direct knowledge” of the attacks. It does not say where they were interviewed and how it knew they had “direct knowledge” of the alleged attacks. It further claims that munitions remnants (allegedly) taken from a crater “could be linked” to “potential chemical weapons use.” “Could be” and “potential” are hardly persuasive.

Samples were (allegedly) taken from one crater on March 26, 2017, but not delivered to the FFM until August 12. There is no indication of who in this Jaysh al ‘Izza-controlled town dug up the samples and gave them to the FFM nearly five months later. One would have to conclude that it was most likely someone from Jaysh al ‘Izza, if in fact there was a crater and the samples were taken from it and not somewhere else. Speculating further, the report says that 2000 bombs designed to carry chemical weapons had been converted into conventional bombs after 2013 and supposedly used but the secretariat had been unable to confirm that this had actually happened, conveniently leaving an avenue open to support the IIT’s claims.

The report claims that helicopters dropped four “barrel bombs” on March 25, one falling through the roof of a building, just as a cylinder full of chlorine was said to have done in the discredited report the OPCW issued on Douma. Three “witnesses” were said to have seen the event and reported that three people died as a result and 32 were injured. There is not a scintilla of confirmation for any of this. There is no indication of how the IIT was able to confirm that the individuals it interviewed in another country, apparently long after the event, really were witnesses.

Completely sweeping away the creaking foundations of all of this is the OPCW’s own earlier findings on the destruction of all the Syrian government’s stocks of chemical weapons material, following the staged attack in the Ghouta disrict, near Damascus, in August 2013, designed to draw Barack Obama over his self-declared “red line” so that he would launch an air attack.

Warned by his own intelligence agencies that the attack could be a setup, Obama pulled back at the last minute, but subsequently, the Syrian government offered to have all its stocks of chemical weapons destroyed under international supervision anyway. The process began in September 2013, the Syrian government simultaneously signing on to the International Convention on the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction (1997).

By June 2014, the OPCW, the supervising body, reported that all production capacity had been destroyed. The remaining chemicals were removed from Syria and by August 2014,  all had been destroyed. In January 2016, the OPCW affirmed that the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons material in the previous three years had been completed. Now, however, the ITT is reproducing an unsubstantiated claim that they weren’t, in order to lend spurious plausibility to its accusations that the Syrian air force dropped chemical weapons and nerve gas on and around Al Lataminah.

The appropriate resting place for this report is not the filing cabinet but the wastepaper basket. With these reports, the OPCW has completely destroyed its credibility. It needs cleaning out, beginning with the sacking of the director-general and the entire secretariat. Otherwise, it should be replaced with a new body, if the world is to have a credible independent chemical weapons watchdog and not one that appears to dance to the foreign policy interests of the US and its global satraps.

April 17, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | 1 Comment

Syria: Fake Attack, Real Deaths

By Eric van de Beek – Sputnik – April 15, 2020

Two years ago the Syrian government was accused of a chemical attack in the Damascus suburb Douma. It has become clear now there never was such an attack. But still, people were found dead. Who were they? And how did they die?

On April 14th 2018, the US, France, and Great Britain launched missile strikes on Syria, in retribution for an alleged poison gas attack on the terrorist stronghold Douma for which they held the Syrian government responsible. Just before the attack, the Russian ambassador in Lebanon and the chief of Russia’s general staff warned Russia would respond to strikes on Syria if the lives of Russian servicemen were threatened, targeting any missiles and launchers involved. As Russian envoy to Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Alexander Shulgin, later put it: “There was a smell of gunpowder in the air“.

What could have led to World War III eventually ended with a hiss. No Russian targets were hit and for Syria, the damage from the attacks was limited, partly because Syria’s Soviet-era air defence systems intercepted many incoming missiles.

Rumours about a chemical attack had started with videos and photos disseminated on social media by Syrian Civil Defence, better known as The White Helmets, among others, of children being treated in a hospital with respiratory problems; of dead bodies in an apartment building; and of chlorine cylinders that looked as if they had been dropped from the sky, one laying on a roof terrace and the other on a bed under a hole in the roof.

On 16th April 2018, two days after the tripartite strike, British Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk interviewed a doctor from the Douma hospital. He stated that although the video of the children being treated in the hospital was real, and that the portrayed patients had been struggling with breathing problems, this was not the result of a poison gas attack, but of dust clouds caused by bombardments that had occurred earlier in the day.

While the patients were being brought in, there was a member of the White Helmets calling out “gas!” – which caused people to throw water over each other in panic.

Other witnesses, who told their story in The Hague on April 28th 2018, at a press conference organised by the Russian delegation to OPCW, roughly confirmed the statement of the doctor interviewed by Fisk. None of them, including several people who were seen in the video, said they hadn’t noticed anything of a poison gas attack.

In May 2019 a revealing document was leaked from OPCW about the two cylinders. The author, Ian Henderson, who in April 2018 had been sent to Douma to investigate the cylinders on behalf of the chemical watchdog, concluded that there was a “higher probability that both cylinders were manually placed at those two locations rather than being delivered from aircraft”. This seemed to be an understatement since the hole in the roof turned out to be smaller than the cylinder on the bed below.

Also “no organophosphorus nerve agents or their degradation products were detected, either in the environmental samples or in plasma samples from the alleged casualties”, the OPCW interim report on the Douma incident reads.  The OPCW inspectors furthermore noted that the dead people in the photos and videos didn’t look like victims from “chlorine-containing choking or blood agents such as chlorine gas, phosgene or cyanogen chloride”.

And so, one important question remains unanswered: Who were the around 35 dead deceased, mostly women and children, that were filmed and photographed in the four-storey building in Douma, where one of the two cylinders was found on the roof? And how did they die?

Jaish al-Islam, the terrorist group that at that time occupied Douma, reportedly buried the bodies in an unmarked mass grave, before the OPCW inspectors had arrived at the scene. Raed Saleh, leader of the White Helmets, told Reuters he pinpointed the burial place to OPCW. Nevertheless, the chemical watchdog chose not to conduct exhumations.

And so I asked Al Saleh if he could tell me anything about the background of the victims and the location of their burial. Unfortunately, he left my questions unanswered. I also asked Dr. Ghassan Obeid of the mission of Syria to the OPCW if the Syrian authorities had made an effort to identify the deceased, but I received no reply from him either.

At a press conference of the Russian embassy in The Hague on July 12th 2019, that I attended, Maxim Grigoriev, director of the Russia-based Foundation for the Study of Democracy, showed interviews of people living in the apartment building and in its vicinity.

None of them recognised the deaths from the videos and photos, apart from one man who identified his brother, who had died, he said, from artillery shelling elsewhere. Some interviewees declared they had seen fighters bringing dead bodies into the building.

I invited the open-source and social media investigators of Bellingcat to debunk Grigoriev’s findings and to identify the ‘Douma victims’. I received no reply. Nevertheless, Bellingcat proved to be very quick in finding who was to blame: four days after the alleged chemical attack they concluded it was “highly likely the 34+ victims of the 19:30 attack on the apartment building near al-Shuhada Square were killed as a result of a gas cylinder filled with what is most likely chlorine gas being dropped from a Hip helicopter originating from Dumayr Airbase”.

And so here we are, two years after an attack that never happened, with around 35 dead people, still unidentified, and still buried in an unmarked grave.

Even more terrible: the management of OPCW, based in The Hague, The Netherlands, has suppressed the findings of its own inspectors who had conducted an investigation at the alleged crime scene in Douma, Syria.

The OPCW management is simply covering up for the criminal elements that have staged the Douma incident, and that could have triggered an all-out world war. For full information about this alarming fact, I recommend reading the presentation given by members of the Working Group on Syria, Media, and Propaganda among others in the House of Commons on January 22th 2020.

April 15, 2020 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | Leave a comment

The OPCW is used as a political tool against Syria

By Steven Sahiounie | Mideast Discourse | April 10, 2020

OPCW Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) has determined that chemical weapons have been used or likely used in Syria. The first report of the OPCW was released April 8 and points a finger at the Syrian Arab Air Force concerning 3 attacks which occurred in Ltamenah, on March 24, 25, and 30, in 2017.

The report claims the investigation team conducts its activities in an impartial and objective manner. The only reason to believe the conclusion of such a report would be the belief that the team is honest, unbiased, and has no political agenda.

There is no proof presented and the 82-page report clearly states that they are not a legal body with the authority to assign criminal responsibility. The Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) Coordinator, Mr. Santiago Oñate-Laborde remarked that the investigative team has concluded that there are reasonable grounds to believe a chemical was used in the attacks. He further added, “In the end, the IIT was unable to identify any other plausible explanation.”

In the report, other plausible explanations were identified, but the report sticks with the personal opinion of one person who has some military experience, though is not identified. The report stated: “a military expert advising the IIT noted the use of chemical weapons in this area would not be inconsistent with a strategy aimed at inflicting terror on both civilians and combatants, at eliminating infrastructure such as the medical facilities required to continue fighting, and at ensuring that no one felt safe even behind the front lines proper. The IIT however also took into account that armed groups opposing the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic, on the other hand, might have had an incentive in “staging” a chemical attack against civilians and their own fighters, to blame the Syrian Arab Republic’s authorities.”

The report continued, that the alleged incidents in Ltamenah could potentially be explained through similar scenarios, including the ‘staging’ of an attack with sarin brought from elsewhere. Also notable in the report, is the fact that the team never visited the site, and only spoke with 20 witnesses.

The Syrian Foreign and Expatriates Ministry released a statement on April 9. “The Syrian Arab Republic condemns, in the strongest terms, what has come in the report of the illegitimate so-called Investigation and Identification Team, and rejects what has been included in it, in form and content,” the statement said, and added that Syria, at the same time, categorically denies using toxic gases in Ltamenah town or in any city or village, and affirms that the Syrian army has never used such weapons in the most difficult battles carried out against armed terrorist organizations.”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation released a statement on April 9. “The authors of the report, and consequently the leaders of the OPCW Technical Secretariat, have thus become accomplices in the consistent violation of the basic principles and procedures of objective and unbiased investigations stipulated in the CWC, which requires the mandatory dispatch of experts directly to the sites of alleged incidents. The information gathered by the IIT mostly came from anti-government armed groups and pseudo-humanitarian NGOs affiliated with them, including the notorious White Helmets.” The statement further adds, “We have also noted that the report contains references to certain secret services data – apparently from the same states obsessed with a change of power in Damascus. There is no other word for it but misinformation.”

In March 2011, the US-NATO attack on Syria began with the goal of ‘regime change’. The plan has cost billions, which was to remove the President Assad administration, which is part of the ‘axis-of-resistance, and to replace it with a pro-US regime headed by the Muslim Brotherhood, such as was accomplished in Egypt. However, Syria proved to be stronger than the CIA backed terrorists, and finally, in 2017 President Trump cut off the funding, but the US-NATO plan has not died a natural death.  It is being kept alive by artificial means: such as dubious reports of chemical use, which may illicit US-NATO military intervention, under the ruse of ‘humanitarian intervention’, such as was accomplished in Libya in 2011.

It was President Obama who handed the terrorists following Radical Islam with the scheme of using chemical use in Syria as the reason for a US military intervention.  Obama delivered his famous “Red-Line” speech and the terrorists took the bait. In East Ghouta they staged a chemical attack and filmed a video which was shown around the globe. An un-verified video almost caused the US military to attack Syria in a massive planned intervention. Obama stopped short of ordering the attack when the UK military lab at Porton Down informed him the sarin used was not from Syrian military sources.  There are still many Republicans and Democrats in the US Congress who are united in their blame of Obama’s inaction. They blame him for being weak, although his actions were based on facts, not opinions.

The OPCW sent a team of experts to investigate allegations that a chemical attack took place in Douma on April 7, 2018. However, the report was discredited after an email was leaked to the well-known journalist Peter Hitchens, who confirmed the email was sent by a member of the team to his superiors, in which he exposes the report was ‘tweaked’ to intentionally misrepresent the facts.

A shocking video purported to show victims being treated in the hospital after the attack went viral, with major western media still showing the video whenever Syrian chemical attacks are mentioned. However, the symptoms shown in the video are not consistent with what witnesses reported having seen and experienced that day. This glaring inconsistency was intentionally stricken from the OPCW report. Seemingly, once again, an unconfirmed video is believable. If a picture tells a thousand words, a video tells a million.

Ian Henderson, a veteran OPCW inspector and specialist chemical engineer with military experience, visited the Douma site. His investigation concluded there was a ‘higher probability that both cylinders were manually placed … rather than being delivered from aircraft’. Mr. Henderson stored a copy of his research findings in the ‘Documents Registry Archive (DRA) when it became apparent his work would be excluded from the final report. After a senior OPCW official became aware of Mr. Henderson’s actions, the official sent an email to his staff saying: ‘Please get this document out of DRA … And please remove all traces, if any, of its delivery/storage/whatever in DRA’.

The OPCW has become a political tool for the US-NATO goal of ‘regime change’ in Syria. Instead of being an independent investigative body operating on a basis of integrity, it has delivered reports which could have been written before the investigation.

Steven Sahiounie is a Syrian-American award-winning journalist.

April 11, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | 1 Comment

OPCW report on Syria chemical attack unreliable: Russia

Press TV – April 9, 2020

Russia has censured as “untrustworthy” a recent report by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) — tasked with probing a series of suspected “chemical attacks” on a Syrian town in 2017, saying the watchdog has violated the basic principle of its work by conducting a remote investigation without visiting the sites.

In its Wednesday’s 82-page report, the OPCW’s Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) claimed Syrian government forces had been responsible for the alleged chemical attacks on the militant-held town of Lataminah in the northern Syrian province of Hama during the last week of March 2017.

It alleged that in the span of one week, Syrian fighter jets had twice dropped bombs containing sarin nerve agent on the village and a helicopter had targeted its hospital with a cylinder containing chlorine, affecting scores of people.

According to the report, the team had based its investigation on a range of evidence, including witness testimonies, videos, forensic reports on recovered munitions scraps, medical records and satellite imagery.

“The experts, who accused Syria of incidents that took place in 2017, have depended on judgments released by the Fact-Finding committee which included rough violations of the basic principle of the OPCW work that stipulates the need for a logic succession of events while collecting and keeping material evidence,” the press office of Russia’s permanent mission at the OPCW said on Wednesday..

It described the IIT’s report as unreliable, saying it depends on investigations that were conducted remotely without visiting the places of incidents based on statements of terrorist groups and the so-called civil defense group White Helmets

The Lataminah strikes came days before another alleged sarin assault in nearby town of Khan Shaykhun in Idlib Province, which killed more than 80 people on April 4.

The Western countries rushed to blame the incident on Damascus — an allegation rejected by the Syrian government — with the US launching several dozen Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian air base, taking the lives of about 20 people including both Syrian soldiers and civilians.

The Syrian government surrendered its stockpiles of chemical weapons in 2014 to a joint mission led by the UN and the OPCW, which oversaw the destruction of the weaponry. However, Western governments and their allies have never stopped pointing the finger at Damascus whenever an apparent chemical attack has taken place.

April 9, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | | 1 Comment

OPCW Investigators Say Syrian Air Force Responsible for March 2017 Attacks on Ltamenah

Sputnik -April 8, 2020

The OPCW’s newly-formed body in charge of identifying the perpetrators of chemical attacks said in its first report on Wednesday that the Syrian Arab Air Force’s aircraft had dropped bombs containing sarin and chlorine on the town of Ltamenah in Hama province in March 2017.

The Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) was established in 2018. Russia opposed the move, warning against expanding the OPCW’s competence from conducting probes to attributing blame and saying that only the UN Security Council is eligible to make such judgments.

“[T]he IIT has concluded that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the perpetrators of the use of sarin as a chemical weapon in Ltamenah on 24 and 30 March 2017, and the use of chlorine as a chemical weapon on 25 March 2017 were individuals belonging to the Syrian Arab Air Force”, IIT Coordinator Santiago Onate-Laborde said in a statement.

According to him, “attacks of such a strategic nature would have only taken place on the basis of orders from the higher authorities of the Syrian Arab Republic military command”.

“In the end, the IIT was unable to identify any other plausible explanation”, he added.

Commenting on the report, OPCW Director-General Fernando Arias said that the IIT is “not a judicial or quasi-judicial body with the authority to assign individual criminal responsibility, nor does the IIT have the authority to make final findings on non-compliance with the Convention.”

“It is now up to the Executive Council and the Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention, the United Nations Secretary-General, and the international community as a whole to take any further action they deem appropriate and necessary”, he stated.

The IIT explains its mission as identifying and reporting “on all information potentially relevant to the origin of those chemical weapons in those instances in which the OPCW’s Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) determines or has determined that use or likely use occurred”.

The FFM concluded back in June 2018 that sarin and chlorine were “very likely used as a chemical weapon” in Ltamenah on 24 March 2017, and 25 March 2017, respectively.

Damascus has repeatedly refuted the allegations of the chemical weapons use, saying that the full destruction of its arsenal was confirmed by the OPCW in 2016.

April 8, 2020 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | | 1 Comment