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The interview with President al-Assad that Italian Rai News 24 refrained from broadcasting

Damascus – President Bashar al-Assad said that Syria is going to come out of the war stronger and the future of Syria is promising and the situation is much better, pointing out to the achievements of the Syrian Arab army in the war against terrorism.

The President, in an interview given to Italian Rai News 24 TV on November 26,2019 and was expected to be broadcast on December 2nd and the Italian TV refrained from broadcasting it for non-understandable reasons, added that Europe was the main player in creating chaos in Syria and the problem of refugees in it was because of its direct support to terrorism along with the US, Turkey and many other countries.

President al-Assad stressed that since the beginning of the narrative regarding the chemical weapons, Syria has affirmed it didn’t use them.

The President affirmed that what the OPCW organization did was to fake and falsify the report about using chemical weapons, just because the Americans wanted them to do so. So, fortunately, this report proved that everything we said during the last few years, since 2013, is correct.

Following is the full text of the interview;

Question 1: Mr. President, thanks for having us here. Let us know please, what’s the situation in Syria now, what’s the situation on the ground, what is happening in the country?

President Assad: If we want to talk about Syrian society: the situation is much, much better, as we learned so many lessons from this war and I think the future of Syria is promising; we are going to come out of this war stronger.

Talking about the situation on the ground: The Syrian Army has been advancing for the last few years and has liberated many areas from the terrorists, there still remains Idleb where you have al-Nusra that’s being supported by the Turks, and you have the northern part of Syria where the Turks have invaded our territory last month.

So, regarding the political situation, you can say it’s becoming much more complicated, because you have many more players that are involved in the Syrian conflict in order to make it drag on and to turn it into a war of attrition.

 Question 2: When you speak about liberating, we know that there is a military vision on that, but the point is: how is the situation now for the people that decided to be back in society? The process of reconciliation, now at what point? Is it working or not?

President Assad: Actually, the methodology that we adopted when we wanted to create let’s say, a good atmosphere – we called it reconciliation, for the people to live together, and for those people who lived outside the control of government areas to go back to the order of law and institutions. It was to give amnesty to anyone, who gives up his armament and obey the law.  The situation is not complicated regarding this issue, if you have the chance to visit any area, you’ll see that life is getting back to normal.

The problem wasn’t people fighting with each other; it wasn’t like the Western narrative may have tried to show – as Syrians fighting with each other, or as they call it a “civil war,” which is misleading. The situation was terrorists taking control of areas, and implementing their rules. When you don’t have those terrorists, people will go back to their normal life and live with each other. There was no sectarian war, there was no ethnic war, there was no political war; it was terrorists supported by outside powers, they have money and armaments, and they occupy those areas.

Question 3: Aren’t you afraid that this kind of ideology that took place and, you know, was the basis of everyday life for people for so many years, in some ways can stay in the society and sooner or later will be back?

President Assad: This is one of the main challenges that we’ve been facing. What you’re asking about is very correct. You have two problems. Those areas that were out of the control of government were ruled by two things: chaos, because there is no law, so people – especially the younger generation – know nothing about the state and law and institutions.

The second thing, which is deeply rooted in the minds, is the ideology, the dark ideology, the Wahabi ideology – ISIS or al-Nusra or Ahrar al-Cham, or whatever kind of these Islamist terrorist extremist ideologies.

Now we have started dealing with this reality, because when you liberate an area you have to solve this problem otherwise what’s the meaning of liberating? The first part of the solution is religious, because this ideology is a religious ideology, and the Syrian religious clerics, or let’s say the religious institution in Syria, is making a very strong effort in this regard, and they have succeeded; they succeeded at helping those people understanding the real religion, not the religion that they’ve been taught by al-Nusra or ISIS or other factions.

Question 4: So basically, clerics and mosques are part of this reconciliation process?

President Assad: This is the most important part. The second part is the schools. In schools, you have teachers, you have education, and you have the national curriculum, and this curriculum is very important to change the minds of those young generations. Third, you have the culture, you have the role of arts, intellectuals, and so on.  In some areas, it’s still difficult to play that role, so it was much easier for us to start with the religion, second with the schools.

Question 5: Mr. President, let me just go back to politics for an instant. You mentioned Turkey, okay? Russia has been your best ally these years, it’s not a secret, but now Russia is compromising with Turkey on some areas that are part of Syrian area, so how do you assess this?

President Assad: To understand the Russian role, we have to understand the Russian principles. For Russia, they believe that international law – and international order based on that law – is in the interest of Russia and in the interest of everybody in the world. So, for them, by supporting Syria they are supporting international law; this is one point. Secondly, being against the terrorists is in the interest of the Russian people and the rest of the world.

So, being with Turkey and making this compromise doesn’t mean they support the Turkish invasion; rather they wanted to play a role in order to convince the Turks that you have to leave Syria. They are not supporting the Turks, they don’t say “this is a good reality, we accept it and Syria must accept it.” No, they don’t. But because of the American negative role and the Western negative role regarding Turkey and the Kurds, the Russians stepped in, in order to balance that role, to make the situation… I wouldn’t say better, but less bad if you want to be more precise.  So, in the meantime, that’s their role.  In the future, their position is very clear: Syrian integrity and Syrian sovereignty.  Syrian integrity and sovereignty are in contradiction with the Turkish invasion, that is very obvious and clear.

Question 6: So, you’re telling me that the Russians could compromise, but Syria is not going to compromise with Turkey. I mean, the relation is still quite tense.

President Assad  No, even the Russians didn’t make a compromise regarding the sovereignty. No, they deal with reality. Now, you have a bad reality, you have to be involved to make some… I wouldn’t say compromise because it’s not a final solution. It could be a compromise regarding the short-term situation, but in the long-term or the mid-term, Turkey should leave. There is no question about it.

Question 7: And in the long-term, any plan of discussions between you and Mr. Erdogan?

President Assad: I wouldn’t feel proud if I have to someday. I would feel disgusted to deal with those kinds of opportunistic Islamists, not Muslims, Islamists – it’s another term, it’s a political term. But again, I always say: my job is not to be happy with what I’m doing or not happy or whatever.  It’s not about my feelings, it’s about the interests of Syria, so wherever our interests go, I will go.

Question 8: In this moment, when Europe looks at Syria, apart from the considerations about the country, there are two major issues: one is refugees, and the other one is the Jihadists or foreign fighters coming back to Europe. How do you see these European worries?

President Assad: We have to start with a simple question: who created this problem? Why do you have refugees in Europe? It’s a simple question: because of terrorism that’s being supported by Europe – and of course the United States and Turkey and others – but Europe was the main player in creating chaos in Syria.  So, what goes around comes around.

 Question 9: Why do you say it was the main player?

President Assad: Because they publicly supported, the EU supported the terrorists in Syria from day one, week one or from the very beginning. They blamed the Syrian government, and some regimes like the French regime sent armaments, they said – one of their officials – I think their Minister of Foreign Affairs, maybe Fabius said “we send.”  They sent armaments; they created this chaos. That’s why a lot of people find it difficult to stay in Syria; millions of people couldn’t live here so they had to get out of Syria.

 Question 10: In this moment, in the region, there are turmoil, and there is a certain chaos. One of the other allies of Syria is Iran, and the situation there is getting complicated. Does it have any reflection on the situation in Syria?

President Assad: Definitely, whenever you have chaos, it’s going to be bad for everyone, it’s going to have side-effects and repercussions, especially when there is external interference. If it’s spontaneous, if you talk about demonstrations and people asking for reform or for a better situation economically or any other rights, that’s positive. But when it’s for vandalism and destroying and killing and interfering from outside powers, then no – it’s definitely nothing but negative, nothing but bad, and a danger on everyone in this region.

 Question 11: Are you worried about what’s happening in Lebanon, which is really the real neighbor?

President Assad: Yes, in the same way. Of course, Lebanon would affect Syria more than any other country because it is our direct neighbor. But again, if it’s spontaneous and it’s about reform and getting rid of the sectarian political system, that would be good for Lebanon. Again, that depends on the awareness of the Lebanese people in order not to allow anyone from the outside to try to manipulate the spontaneous movement or demonstrations in Lebanon.

Question 12: Let’s go back to what is happening in Syria. In June, Pope Francis wrote you a letter asking you to pay attention and to respect the population, especially in Idleb where the situation is still very tense, because there is fighting there, and when it comes even to the way prisoners are treated in jails. Did you answer him, and what did you answer?

President Assad: The letter of the Pope was about his worry for civilians in Syria and I had the impression that maybe the picture in the Vatican is not complete. That’s to be expected, since the mainstream narrative in the West is about this “bad government” killing the “good people;” as you see and hear in the same media – every bullet of the Syrian Army and every bomb only kills civilians and only hospitals! they don’t kill terrorists as they target those civilians! which is not correct.

So, I responded with a letter explaining to the Pope the reality in Syria – as we are the most, or the first to be concerned about civilian lives, because you cannot liberate an area while the people are against you.  You cannot talk about liberation while the civilians are against you or the society. The most crucial part in liberating any area militarily is to have the support of the public in that area or in the region in general.  That has been clear for the last nine years and that’s against our interests.

Question 13: But that kind of call, in some ways, made you also think again about the importance of protecting civilians and people of your country.

President Assad: No, this is something we think about every day, not only as morals, principles and values but as interests. As I just mentioned, without this support – without public support, you cannot achieve anything… you cannot advance politically, militarily, economically and in every aspect. We couldn’t withstand this war for nine years without the public support and you cannot have public support while you’re killing civilians. This is an equation, this is a self-evident equation, nobody can refute it. So, that’s why I said, regardless of this letter, this is our concern.

But again, the Vatican is a state, and we think that the role of any state – if they worry about those civilians, is to go to the main reason. The main reason is the Western role in supporting the terrorists, and it is the sanctions on the Syrian people that have made the situation much worse – and this is another reason for the refugees that you have in Europe now. You don’t want refugees but at the same time you create the situation or the atmosphere that will tell them “go outside Syria, somewhere else,” and of course they will go to Europe.  So, this state, or any state, should deal with the reasons and we hope the Vatican can play that role within Europe and around the world; to convince many states that you should stop meddling in the Syrian issue, stop breaching international law. That’s enough, we only need people to follow international law. The civilians will be safe, the order will be back, everything will be fine. Nothing else.

 Question 14: Mr. President, you’ve been accused several times of using chemical weapons, and this has been the instrument of many decisions and a key point, the red line, for many decisions. One year ago, more than one year ago, there has been the Douma event that has been considered another red line. After that, there has been bombings, and it could it have been even worse, but something stopped.  These days, through WikiLeaks, it’s coming out that something wrong in the report could have taken place. So, nobody yet is be able to say what has happened, but something wrong in reporting what has happened could have taken place.

President Assad: We have always – since the beginning of this narrative regarding the chemical weapons – we have said that we didn’t use it; we cannot use it, it’s impossible to be used in our situation for many reasons, let’s say – logistical reasons.

Intervention: Give me one.

President Assad: One reason, a very simple one: when you’re advancing, why would you use chemical weapons?!  We are advancing, why do we need to use it?!  We are in a very good situation so why use it, especially in 2018?  This is one reason.

Second, very concrete evidence that refutes this narrative: when you use chemical weapons – this is a weapon of mass destruction, you talk about thousands of dead or at least hundreds. That never happened, never – you only have these videos of staged chemical weapons attacks.  In the recent report that you’ve mentioned, there’s a mismatch between what we saw in the video and what they saw as technicians or as experts. The amount of chlorine that they’ve been talking about: first of all, chlorine is not a mass destruction material, second, the amount that they found is the same amount that you can have in your house, it exists in many households and used maybe for cleaning and whatever. The same amount exactly. That’s what the OPCW organisation did – they faked and falsified the report, just because the Americans wanted them to do so. So, fortunately, this report proved that everything we said during the last few years, since 2013, is correct. We were right, they were wrong. This is proof, this is concrete proof regarding this issue.  So, again, the OPCW is biased, is being politicized and is being immoral, and those organisations that should work in parallel with the United Nations to create more stability around the world – they’ve been used as American arms and Western arms to create more chaos.

Question 15: Mr. President, after nine years of war, you are speaking about the mistakes of the others. I would like you to speak about your own mistakes, if any. Is there something you would have done in a different way, and which is the lesson learned that can help your country?

President Assad: Definitely, for when you talk about doing anything, you always find mistakes; this is human nature. But when you talk about political practice, you have two things: you have strategies or big decisions, and you have tactics – or in this context, the implementation. So, our strategic decisions or main decisions were to stand against terrorism, to make reconciliation and to stand against the external meddling in our affairs.  Today, after nine years, we still adopt the same policy; we are more adherent to this policy.  If we thought it was wrong, we would have changed it; actually no, we don’t think there is anything wrong in this policy.  We did our mission; we implemented the constitution by protecting the people.

Now, if you talk about mistakes in implementation, of course you have so many mistakes. I think if you want to talk about the mistakes regarding this war, we shouldn’t talk about the decisions taken during the war because the war – or part of it, is a result of something before.

Two things we faced during this war: the first one was extremism. The extremism started in this region in the late 60s and accelerated in the 80s, especially the Wahabi ideology. If you want to talk about mistakes in dealing with this issue: then yes, I will say we were very tolerant of something very dangerous. This is a big mistake we committed over decades; I’m talking about different governments, including myself before this war.

The second one, when you have people who are ready to revolt against the order, to destroy public properties, to commit vandalism and so on, they work against their country, they are ready to go and work for foreign powers – foreign intelligence, they ask for external military interference against their country.  So, this is another question: how did we have those? If you ask me how, I would tell you that before the war we had more than 50,000 outlaws that weren’t captured by the police for example; for those outlaws, their natural enemy is the government because they don’t want to go to prison.

Question 16: And how about also the economic situation? Because part of it – I don’t know if it was a big or small part of it – but part of it has also been the discontent and the problems of population in certain areas in which economy was not working. Is it a lesson learned somewhere?

President Assad: It could be a factor, but definitely not a main factor. Some people talk about the four years of drought that pushed the people to leave their land in the rural areas to go to the city… it could be a problem, but this is not the main problem. They talked about the liberal policy… we didn’t have a liberal policy, we’re still socialist, we still have a public sector – a very big public sector in government. You cannot talk about liberal policy while you have a big public sector. We had growth, good growth.

Of course, in the implementation of our policy, again, you have mistakes. How can you create equal opportunities between people? Between rural areas and between the cities? When you open up the economy, the cities will benefit more, that will create more immigration from rural areas to the cities… these are factors, that could play some role, but this is not the issue. In the rural areas where you have more poverty, the money of the Qataris played a more actual role than in the cities, that’s natural. You pay them in half an hour what they get in one week; that’s very good for them.

Question 17: We are almost there, but there are two more questions that I want to ask you. One is about reconstruction, and reconstruction is going to be very costly. How can you imagine to afford this reconstruction, who could be your allies in reconstruction?

President Assad: We don’t have a big problem with that. Talking that Syria has no money… no, actually Syrians have a lot of money; the Syrian people around the world have a lot of money, and they want to come and build their country. Because when you talk about building the country, it is not giving money to the people, it’s about getting benefit – it’s a business. So, many people, not only Syrians, want to do business in Syria. So, talking about where you can have funds for this reconstruction, we already have, but the problem is that these sanctions prevent those businessmen or companies from coming and working in Syria.  In spite of that, we started and in spite of that, some foreign companies have started finding ways to evade these sanctions and we have started planning. It’s going to be slow, without the sanctions we wouldn’t have a problem with funding.

Question 18: Ending on a very personal note, Mr. President; do you feel like a survivor?

President Assad: If you want to talk about a national war like this, where nearly every city has been harmed by terrorism or external bombardment and other things, then you can talk about all the Syrians as survivors. I think this is human nature: to be a survivor.

Intervention: And you yourself?

President Assad: I’m a part of those Syrians. I cannot be disconnected from them; I have the same feeling. Again, it’s not about being a strong person who is a survivor. If you don’t have this atmosphere, this society, or this incubator to survive, you cannot survive. It’s collective; it’s not a single person, it’s not a one-man show.

Journalist: Thank you very much, Mr. President.

President Assad: Thank you.

December 9, 2019 Posted by | Video | , , | Leave a comment

Newsweek reporter resigns after accusing outlet of SUPPRESSING story about OPCW leak

RT | December 8, 2019

A reporter for Newsweek says he has quit his job after his editor allegedly refused to publish an article about an internal email that raises serious questions about the OPCW’s findings on an alleged gas attack in Douma, Syria.

“Yesterday I resigned from Newsweek after my attempts to publish newsworthy revelations about the leaked OPCW letter were refused for no valid reason,” Tareq Haddad tweeted out on Saturday.

The recently-leaked document contradicts key conclusions in a report by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), about the April 2018 chemical weapons attack in Douma. The incident was blamed on Damascus and was used by the US and its allies to justify airstrikes against Syrian military installations.

The email, sent by an OPCW inspector who participated in the Douma probe, outlines several instances in which facts discovered by his team had been distorted or suppressed in the OPCW’s draft report, resulting in “an unintended bias” in the resulting text.

In a series of follow-up tweets, the former Newsweek journalist said that he had “collected evidence of how they suppressed the story,” adding that he also had evidence that the outlet had cut material, in a separate incident, because the information was “inconvenient to the US government” – even though it was factually correct.

Tareq claims that he was threatened with legal action after he’d asked his editor why his story about the damning leak had been refused.

Since making the announcement, the now-unemployed reporter has received accolades for his journalistic integrity. His story has also caught the attention of several prominent journalists, including Mail on Sunday columnist Peter Hitchens, who has been a fierce critic of western media’s coverage of the Douma attack.

While media outlets rushed last year to blame Damascus for the attack, the leaked email – as well as some troubling revelations from an OPCW whistleblower – have been almost completely ignored by the western press.

December 8, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | 1 Comment

The Douma Hoax: Anatomy of a False Flag

Corbett • 12/07/2019

As whistleblowers and documents continue to destroy the narrative surrounding the alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria last year, it is becoming increasingly apparent that this false flag event has been exposed. This week on The Corbett Report podcast, James goes through the remarkable timeline of the Douma hoax and breaks the spell that the propagandists have sought to cast on the public.

For those with limited bandwidth, CLICK HERE to download a smaller, lower file size version of this episode.

For those interested in audio quality, CLICK HERE for the highest-quality version of this episode (WARNING: very large download).

Watch this video on BitChute / Minds.com / YouTube or Download the mp4

SHOW NOTES
Colin Powell’s Presentation to the UN Security Council On Iraq’s WMD Program

Cutting through media propaganda on the battle for Syria’s Eastern Ghouta

Syria crisis: Saudi Arabia to spend millions to train Jaysh al-Islam terrorists

Young children treated in suspected chemical attack in Douma, Syria

Trump blames “animal Assad” for atrocity

United States Assessment of the Assad Regime’s Chemical Weapons Use

U.S. and allies warn Syria of more missile strikes if chemical attacks used again

Statement by President Trump on Syria

The search for truth in the rubble of Douma – and one doctor’s doubts over the chemical attack

OPCW interim report (July 2018)

BBC producer: Footage of 2018 Douma chemical attack fabricated

OPCW final report (March 2019)

Leaked Engineering Assessment

Leaked OPCW Report Raises New Questions About 2018 Chemical Attack in Douma, Syria

OPCW internal communique on leak

Panel Criticizes ‘Unacceptable Practices’ in the OPCW’s investigation of the Alleged Chemical Attack in Douma, Syria on April 7th 2018

The OPCW and Douma: Chemical Weapons Watchdog Accused of Evidence-Tampering by Its Own Inspectors

Jonathan Steele on BBC

Leaked internal OPCW email

PETER HITCHENS: My secret meeting with mole at the heart of The Great Poison Gas Scandal

Theodore Postol on PushBack

Chemical weapons watchdog OPCW defends Syria report as whistleblower claims bias

7 (Bellingcat) Emails And Reading Comprehension: OPCW Douma Coverage Misses Crucial Facts

Narrative Managers Faceplant In Hilarious OPCW Scandal Spin Job

Fox News interview with Tucker Carlson

Bellingcat or Guard Dog for the Establishment?

Douma Videos and Photos analysis by Steven McItnyre

How the OPCW’s investigation of the Douma incident was nobbled

December 7, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, False Flag Terrorism, Video | , , , | 1 Comment

Jordan seeks to restore diplomatic relations with Syria: Minister

Press TV – December 6, 2019

Jordan plans to restore full diplomatic relations with neighboring Syria in a further sign of Arab states embracing President Bashar al-Assad after a UAE diplomat praised him for “wise leadership” this week.

Jordanian Minister of State and Agriculture Samir Habashneh said Thursday he will travel to Syria later this month as part of a nearly 30-strong delegation, Arabic- language Ammon news website reported.

Former Prime Minister Taher al-Masri will head the delegation to restore Amman-Damascus bilateral relations to the level prior to the outbreak of foreign-sponsored Syrian conflict, it said.

Habashneh said Jordan and Syria actually have common areas of interest, stressing that the visit should have taken place much earlier in order to enhance communication between the two countries.

Commenting on a possible meeting with President Assad, he stated that the matter is in the hands of the Syrian side, and that the Jordanian delegates would like to sit for talks with the 54-year-old Syrian leader, senior officials and representatives of the Syrian people.

Jordan’s official Petra news agency, citing Foreign Ministry spokesman Sufian Qudah, reported earlier this year that the Amman government had appointed a new chargé d’affaires to its embassy in Damascus.

“It was decided to appoint a Jordanian diplomat at the rank of charge d’affaires in the Jordanian embassy in Damascus,” the Jordanian official said.

He underlined that the “decision has been made in line with Jordan’s stance since the outbreak of the Syrian crisis in 2011 to keep the Jordanian embassy in Damascus open.”

Jordanian lawmakers first asked for the improvement of Jordan-Syria ties to the level before the start of the Syrian crisis last year, stressing that the relations are beneficial to both nations, Arabic-language Rai al-Youm newspaper reported last December.

Around the same time, Bahrain announced that work at the kingdom’s embassy “in the Syrian Arab Republic is going on whilst the Embassy of the Syrian Arab Republic to the Kingdom of Bahrain is carrying out its duties and flights connecting the two countries are operational without interruption.”

It came a day after the United Arab Emirates officially reopened its embassy in Damascus.

Earlier this week, the UAE’s top diplomat in Syria praised President Assad for his “wise leadership”, in one of the strongest expressions of support yet from a country that once backed Damascus’ enemies in the war.

Speaking at a ceremony to mark UAE national day on Dec. 2, UAE charge d’affaires Abdul-Hakim Naimi said he hoped “security and stability prevails throughout the Syrian Arab Republic under the wise leadership of President Bashar Al-Assad.”

“Syria-UAE relations are solid, distinct and strong,” he added, according to a video posted by Russian broadcaster RT.

Arab countries’ restoration of diplomatic ties with Damascus takes place at a time when the Syrian army troops are finalizing their victory against foreign-backed terror groups and restoring peace and stability to the war-torn country.

Earlier this year, Reuters news agency cited sources as saying that Washington had lobbied Persian Gulf states including the UAE to hold off restoring ties with Syria.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups wreaking havoc in the country.

December 6, 2019 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , | 1 Comment

Nearly One Million Syrian Refugees Return Home Since 2018: Minister

Al-Manar | December 5, 2019

Nearly one million Syrian refugees have so far returned from Lebanon since June 2018, the pro-government al-Watan newspaper reported on Thursday.

Their return is a result of conveniences provided by the Syrian government, Hussain Makhlouf, the minister of local administration said as quoted by the Syrian paper.

Makhlouf said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has ordered all ministries to provide all necessary help for the returnees to start a new life.

The newspaper, meanwhile, said that as many as 1,400 refugees have returned home over the past few days from Lebanon.

More than one million Syrian refugees are registered with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Lebanon, while the Lebanese government estimated that the true number of Syrians in the country is 1.5 million.

December 5, 2019 Posted by | Aletho News | , | 1 Comment

A Second Whistle Blown on the OPCW’s Doctored Report

By Jeremy Salt | American Herald Tribune | December 3, 2019

Another whistleblower leak has exposed the fraudulent nature of the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) report on the alleged chemical weapons attack in the Syrian city of Douma, close to Damascus, on April 7 last year.

The first leak came from the Fact-Finding Mission’s engineering sub-group. After investigating the two sites where industrial gas cylinders were found in Douma and taking into account the possibility that the cylinders had been dropped from the air it concluded that there was a “higher probability” that both cylinders were placed at both sites by hand. This finding was entirely suppressed in the final report.

The engineering sub-group prepared its draft report “for internal review” between February 1-27, 2018. By March 1 the OPCW final report had been approved, published and released, indicating that the engineers’ findings had not been properly evaluated, if evaluated at all. In its final report the OPCW, referring to the findings of independent experts in mechanical engineering, ballistics and metallurgy, claimed that the structural damage had been caused at one location by an “impacting object” (i.e. the cylinder) and that at the second location the cylinder had passed through the ceiling, fallen to the floor and somehow bounced back up on to the bed where it was found.

None of this was even suggested by the engineers. Instead, the OPCW issued a falsified report intended to keep alive the accusation that the cylinders had been dropped by the Syrian Air Force.

Now there is a second leak, this time an internal email sent by a member of the Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) on June 22, 2018, to Robert Fairweather, the British career diplomat who was at the time Chief of Cabinet at the OPCW, and copied to his deputy, Aamir Shouket. The writer claims to have been the only FFM member to have read the redacted report before its release. He says it misrepresents the facts: “Some crucial facts that have remained in the redacted version have morphed into something quite different from what was originally drafted.”

The email says the final version statement that the team “has sufficent evidence to determine that chlorine or another reactive chlorine-containing chemical was likely released from the cylinders is highly misleading and not supported by the facts.” The writer states that the only evidence is that some samples collected at locations 2 and 4 (where the gas cylinders were found) had been in contact with one or more chemicals that contain a reactive chlorine atom.

“Such chemicals,” he continues, “could include molecular chlorine, phosgene, cyanogen chloride, hydrochloric acid, hydrogen chloride or sodium hypochlorite (the major element in household chlorine-based bleach.”  Purposely singling out chlorine as one of the possibilities was disingenuous and demonstrated “partiality” that negatively affected the final report’s credibility.

The writer says the final report’s reference to “high levels of various chlorinated organic derivatives detected in environmental samples” overstates the draft report’s findings. “In most cases” these derivatives were present only in part per billion range, as low as 1-2 ppb, which is essentially trace qualitiea.” In such microscopic quantities, detected inside apartment buildings, it would seem, although the writer only hints at the likelihood, that the chlorine trace elements could have come from household bleach stored in the kitchen or bathroom.

The writer notes that the original draft discussed in detail the inconsistency between the victims’ symptoms after the alleged attack as reported by witnesses and seen on video recordings.  This section of the draft, including the epidemiology, was removed from the final version in its entirety. As it was inextricably linked to the chemical agent as identified, the impact on the final report was “seriously negative.” The writer says the draft report was “modified” at the behest of the office of Director-General, a post held at the time by a Turkish diplomat, Ahmet Uzumcu.

The OPCW has made no attempt to deny the substance of these claims. After the engineers’ report made its way to Wikileaks its priority was to hunt down the leaker. Following the leaking of the recent email, the Director-General, Fernando Arias, simply defended the final report as it stood.

These two exposures are triply devastating for the OPCW.  Its Douma report is completely discredited but all its findings on the use of chemical weapons in Syria must now be regarded as suspect even by those who did not regard them as suspect in the first place. The same shadow hangs over all UN agencies that have relied on the OPCW for evidence, especially the UN’s Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, an arm of the OHCHR (Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights).

This body is closely linked to the OPCW and while both mostly hide the sources of their information it is evident that where chemical weapons allegations have been made, the commission of inquiry has drawn on the OPCW.

As of January 2018, the commission reported on 34 “documented incidents” of chemical weapons use by various parties in Syria. It held the Syrian government responsible for 23 of them and, remarkably, did not hold the armed groups responsible even for one, despite the weight of evidence showing their preparation and use of such weapons over a long period of time.

The commission has made repeated accusations of chlorine barrel bombs being dropped by government forces. On the worst of the alleged chemical weapons attacks, on August 21, 2013, in the eastern Ghouta district just outside Damascus, it refers to sarin being used in a “well-planned indiscriminate attack targetting residential areas [and] causing mass casualties. The perpetrators likely had access to the Syrian military chemical weapons stockpile and expertise and equipment to manipulate large amounts of chemical weapons.”

This is such a travesty of the best evidence that no report by this body can be regarded as impartial, objective and neutral.   No chemical weapons or nerve agents were moved from Syrian stocks, according to the findings of renowned journalist Seymour Hersh. The best evidence, including a report by Hersh (‘The Red Line and the Rat Line,’ London Review of Books, April 17, 2014), suggests a staged attack by terrorist groups, including Jaysh al Islam and Ahrar al Sham, who at the time were being routed in a government offensive. The military would have had no reason to use chemical weapons: furthermore, the ‘attack’ was launched just as UN chemical weapons inspectors were arriving in the Syrian capital and it is not even remotely credible that the Syrian government would have authorized a chemical weapons attack at such a time.

Even the CIA warned Barack Obama that the Syrian government may not have been/probably was not responsible for the attack and that he was being lured into launching an air attack in Syria now that his self-declared ‘red line’ had been crossed. At the last moment, Obama backed off.

It remains possible that the victims of this ‘attack’ were killed for propaganda purposes. Certainly, no cruelty involving the takfiri groups, the most brutal people on the face of the planet, can be ruled out. Having used the occasion to blame the Syrian government, the media quickly moved on. The identities of the dead, many of them children, who they were, where they might have been buried – if in fact they had been killed and not just used as props – were immediately tossed into the memory hole. Eastern Ghouta remains one of the darkest unexplained episodes in the war on Syria.

The UN’s Syria commission of inquiry’s modus operandi is much the same as the OPCW’s. Witnesses are not identified; there is no indication of how their claims were substantiated; the countries outside Syria where many have been interviewed are not identified, although Turkey is clearly one; and where samples have had to be tested, the chain of custody is not transparent.

It is worth stepping back a little bit to consider early responses to the OPCW report on Douma. The Syrian government raised a number of questions, all of them fobbed off by the OPCW.  Russia entered the picture by arranging a press conference for alleged victims of the ‘attack’ at the OPCW headquarters in the Hague.  They included an 11-year-old boy, Hassan Diab, who said he did not know why he was suddenly hosed down in the hospital clinic, as shown in the White Helmets propaganda video.

All the witnesses dismissed claims of a chemical weapons attack. Seventeen countries (Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, the United Kingdom and the US) then put out a joint statement (April 26, 2018) expressing their full support for the OPCW report and dismissing the “so-called” information session at the Hague as a Russian propaganda exercise. Their statement claimed the authenticity of the information in the OPCW report was “unassailable.”

Russia followed up with a series of questions directed at the OPCW’s technical secretariat. It noted that the OPCW report did not mention that samples taken from Douma were “split” in the OPCW’s central laboratory in the Netherlands and not in the Syrian Arab republic. Fractions of samples were handed to Syria only after six months of insistent pressure (OPCW response: its terms of reference provided for Syria to be provided with samples “to the extent possible” but do not specify when or where samples should be ‘split’).

Russia also referred to the collection of 129 samples and their transfer to OPCW-designated laboratories. 31 were selected for the first round of analysis and an additional batch of 13 sent later. Of the 129 samples 39 were obtained from individuals living outside territory controlled by the Syrian army. Of 44 samples analyzed 33 were environmental and 11 biomedical: of the 44, 11 (four environmental and seven biomedical) were obtained from alleged witnesses.

As remarked by the Russian Federation, the OPCW report does not explain the circumstances in which these samples were obtained. Neither is there any information on the individuals from whom they were taken; neither is there any evidence demonstrating compliance with the chain of custody (OPCW response: there was respect for the chain of custody, without this being explained; the “standard methodology” in collecting samples was applied, without details being given.  It stressed the need for privacy and the protection of witness identities).

Russia observed that the samples were analyzed in two unnamed OPCW laboratories and on the evidence of techniques and results, it raised the question of whether the same laboratories had been used to investigate earlier ‘incidents’ involving the alleged use of chlorine. Of the 13 laboratories that had technical agreements with the OPCW, why were samples analyzed at only two, apparently the same two as used before?  Russia also observed that of the 33 environmental samples tested for chlorinated products, there was a match (bornyl chloride) in only one case.

Samples taken from location 4, where a gas cylinder was allegedly dropped from the air, showed the presence of the explosive trinitrotoluene, leading to the conclusion that the hole in the roof was made by an explosion and not by a cylinder falling through it (OPCW response: the Fact-Finding Mission did not select the labs and information about them is confidential. As there had been intense warfare for weeks around location four, the presence of explosive material in a broad range of samples was to be expected but this did not – in the OPCW view –  lead to the conclusion that an explosion caused the hole in the roof).

Russia pointed out that the FFM interviewed 39 people but did not interview the actual witnesses of the ‘incident’ inside the Douma hospital who appeared and were easily identifiable in the staged videos (OPCW response: the secretariat neither confirms nor denies whether it interviewed any of the witnesses presented by Russia at the OPCW headquarters “as any statement to that effect would be contrary to the witness protection principles applied by the secretariat”).

Russia also pointed out the contradictions in the report on the number of alleged dead. In one paragraph the FFM says it could not establish a precise figure for casualties which “some sources” said ranged between 70 and 500. Yet elsewhere “witnesses” give the number of dead as 43 (OPCW response: the specific figure of 43 was based on the evidence of “witnesses” who claimed to have seen bodies at different locations).

Russia also pointed out that no victims were found at locations 2 and 4, where the ventilation was good because of the holes in the roof/ceiling. Referring to location 2, it asked how could chlorine released in a small hole from a cylinder in a well-ventilated room on the fourth floor have had such a strong effect on people living on the first or second floors? (OPCW response: the FFM did not establish a correlation between the number of dead and the quantity of the toxic chemical. In order to establish such a correlation, factors unknown to the FFM – condition of the building, air circulation and so on – would have had to be taken into account.  It does not explain why this was not attempted and how it could reach its conclusions without taking these “unknown factors” into account).

Finally, Russia raised the question of the height from which the cylinders could have been dropped. It referred to the lack of specific calculations in the OPCW report. The ‘experts’ who did the simulation did not indicate the drop height. The charts and diagrams indicated a drop height of 45-180 meters. However, Syrian Air Force helicopters do not fly at altitudes of less than 2000 meters when cruising over towns because they would come under small arms fire “at least” and would inevitably be shot down.

Furthermore, if the cylinders had been dropped from 2000 meters,  both the roof and the cylinders would have been more seriously damaged (OPCW response: there were no statements or assumptions in the FFM report on the use of helicopters or the use of other aircraft “or the height of the flight. The FFM did not base its modeling on the height from which the cylinders could have been dropped. “In accordance with its mandate,” the FFM did not comment on the possible altitude of aircraft.  The OPCW did not explain why these crucial factors were not taken into account).

In its conclusion, Russia said there was a “high probability” that the cylinders were placed manually at locations 2 and 4 and that the factual material in the OPCW report did not allow it to draw the conclusion that a toxic chemical had been used as a weapon. These conclusions have now been confirmed in the release of information deliberately suppressed by the OPCW secretariat.

As the leaked material proves, its report was doctored: by suppressing, ignoring or distorting the findings of its own investigators to make it appear that the Syrian government was responsible for the Douma ‘attack’ the OPCW can be justly accused of giving aid and comfort to terrorists and their White Helmet auxiliaries whom – the evidence overwhelmingly shows – set this staged ‘attack ’up.

Critical evidence ignored by the OPCW included the videoed discovery of an underground facility set up by Jaysh al Islam for the production of chemical weapons.   All the OPCW said was that the FFM inspectors paid on-site visits to the warehouse and “facility” suspected of producing chemical weapons and found no evidence of their manufacture.  There is no reference to the makeshift facility found underground and shown in several minutes of video evidence.

Since the release of the report, the three senior figures in the OPCW secretariat have moved/been moved on. The Director-General at the time, Hasan Uzumlu, a Turkish career diplomat, stepped out of the office in July 2018: Sir Robert Fairweather, a British career diplomat and Chief of Cabinet at the OPCW, was appointed the UK’s special representative to Sudan and South Sudan on March 11, 2019: his deputy, Aamir Shouket,  left the OPCW in August 2018, to return to Pakistan as Director-General of the Foreign Ministry’s Europe division. The governments which signed the statement that the evidence in the OPCW report was “unassailable” remain in place.

Jeremy Salt has taught at the University of Melbourne, Bosporus University (Istanbul) and Bilkent University (Ankara), specialising in the modern history of the Middle East.  His most recent book is “The Unmaking of the Middle East. A History of Western Disorder in Arab Lands” (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008.)

December 4, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Defence Ministry Dismisses NYT Report on Russia ‘Bombing’ Syrian Refugee Camp in August

Sputnik – December 2, 2019

The NYT wrote 1 December that “eyewitness photos and videos, flight logs and cockpit tapes obtained by The Times enabled reporters to trace an airstrike on a Syrian camp for displaced families to a Russian pilot.”

The Russian Defence Ministry dismissed a report by The New York Times (NYT) about Russia’s Aerospace Forces’ alleged bombing of a Syrian refugee camp in August.

“Like a month and a half ago, the ridiculous accusations by the authors of the fake are based on a video of unknown origin with swindlers from the White Helmets against the backdrop of buildings of the ‘refugee camp’; pictures of the blue sky in which a Russian plane was supposed to be and fragments of Russian phrases, allegedly belonging to the Russian Aerospace Forces pilots”, ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said.

Konashenkov added that to the disappointment of those who ordered the fake, the ministry is forced to recall again that the transfer of the coordinates of targets to the pilots of Russian bombers or reports on the fulfilment of their tasks are not carried out by voice on the air openly.

The comment comes as the NYT ran an article claiming that a Russian pilot conducted an airstrike on a refugee Syrian camp.

Russia’s Role in Syria

Since 2017, Russia has been one of the three guarantors of the ceasefire in Syria, which has been engulfed in a civil war for years. The Russian armed forces have been providing military assistance to Damascus throughout the conflict, while also carrying out regular humanitarian operations across the country.

Russia is now assisting Syria in the post-war reconstruction and the return of refugees.

The Russian military police are currently engaged in patrolling Syria’s provinces of Aleppo and Raqqa along the border with Turkey as part of the Russia-Turkey deal over the buffer zone in northern Syria.

Following talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a Russian-Turkish memorandum was signed on 22 October in Russia’s Sochi, which stipulates conditions for the peaceful withdrawal of Kurdish militants in Syria to a distance of 30 kilometres (18.6 miles) from the border with Turkey.

The 10-point document envisions a variety of patrol missions carried out by the Russian military contingent in Syria, Syrian border guards, and Turkish troops in order to ensure the implementation of the deal.

December 2, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | Leave a comment

From killed Armenian priest in Syria to the roots of hatred and genocide

By Steven Sahiounie | December 1, 2019

Father Hovsep Bedoyan, the head of the Armenian Catholic community in Qamishli, and the priest’s father, Abraham Bedoyan, were killed November 11, on the road leading from Qamishli to Deir Ez Zor, where they were headed to check on the rebuilding of the Forty Martyr’s Armenian Apostolic Church in Deir Ezzor, which was destroyed in 2014 by terrorists who targeted Christians and churches. Deacon Fati Sano of the Al-Hasakeh church was injured in the attack when the car was ambushed at a checkpoint by masked gunmen on motorcycles, which shot at point-blank range. The car they drove was inscribed with the Armenian Church’s logo. The same day, a series of bomb blasts in Qamishli occurred, targeting the Armenian Catholic church, an Assyrian Christian-owned business, and a Catholic school, killing at least 6 people and wounded 22 others. More than 100,000 ethnic Armenians lived in Syria, mainly in the province of Aleppo prior to 2011; however, after the constant targeting of Christians by the Free Syrian Army (FSA) beginning in 2011, thousands have fled and many hundreds went to Armenia, who offered the Syrians a visa, when most of the world had shut its doors to them.

Tens of thousands of Christians from the Assyrian minority fled attacks in 2015, and have not returned. Christians in Homs were targeted very early in 2011 by the FSA, with churches attacked, burned and priests killed. Christians in Damascus were dodging missiles fired into Bab Touma by terrorists, in East Ghouta, until the Syrian Arab Army defeated them and they could walk again safely on the street called straight, from Bible passages about Saint Paul.

In September 2012, the large Christian neighborhood in Aleppo, Azizia, fought the FSA, with Christian civilians holding arms to defend their homes and churches. George, an Armenian Christian of Aleppo said, “The Armenians are fighting because they believe the FSA are sent by their Turkish oppressors to attack them, the Christians want to defend their neighborhoods.”

FSA snipers were on the rooftops and they were attacking the Maronite church and Armenian residents there,” said a former clergyman calling himself John.  A Syrian Armenian mother said, “They are shouting ‘the Alawites to the graves and the Christians to Beirut.”

While many Syrian Christians have resisted leaving Syria, for the life of a refugee abroad. Many have gone even though they were living in safe areas, such as the coast. They saw their Christian countrymen leaving in large numbers, and they feared that the FSA terrorists that the Obama administration was supporting would win, and in that case, they could never live safely in Syria.

Father Hovsep Bedoyan had been visiting Deir Ez Zor every 2 weeks while overseeing the rebuilding of the church there. The France-based association, L’Oeuvre d’Orient, is a Catholic charity aimed at reconstructing infrastructure for the return of the Christian community. Monseigneur Pascal Gollnisch, the group’s head, pointed at Turkey’s recent invasion of Northern Syria: “It is the responsibility of all occupying forces to protect the safety of the local Christian minority,” he insisted.

The United Nations (UN) estimates that almost 200,000 people have been displaced by the Turkish invasion, dubbed “Operation Peace Spring”, during which there have been eyewitness accounts of summary executions, beatings, and torture, unlawful detention, and kidnappings by the Turkish military and the FSA, who are Radical Islamic terrorists, employed as mercenaries.

The FSA is the Turkish backed terrorists/mercenaries

“It was sadly learned that a cleric from the Syrian Armenian community was killed in a vicious attack in the area under the control of the terrorist organization PYD/YPG/PKK,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a written statement, which deflected responsibility, and blamed the Syrian Kurds who had been allied to the US, and denying their own FSA mercenaries were the actual killers. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the killings, but the FSA and ISIS are allies, and sources close to the events on the ground have said it was the FSA who killed them, and ISIS only issued the claim of responsibility to shield the blame from the FSA.

FSA history in Syria and sectarianism

The FSA and its political wing, the SNC, have never been secular or moderate. The founding members of the SNC and FSA were members of the Muslim Brotherhood. Their goal for Syria has always been to establish an Islamic government, thus abolishing the secular Ba’ath Party as well as the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP).

“The Free Syrian Army practically doesn’t exist,” Kamal Sido, a Mideast expert at the human rights group Society for Threatened Peoples (GfbV) told Germany’s Deutschlandfunk broadcaster. “The Free Syrian Army is a smokescreen hiding various names, and if you look at the names, at these groups’ videos, you’ll find they are radical Islamist, Jihadist groups.”

The FSA was not only fighting the Syrian government but they were also killing, raping, maiming and kidnapping unarmed Syrian civilians, most of whom were Sunni Muslims, like themselves. On July 20, 2017, President Trump cut the CIA’s covert program to equip and train the FSA.

The CIA program began in 2013 by Obama to overthrow President Assad; however, CIA officials observed that many FSA had joined ISIS and other radical groups, and feared the weapons they gave the group might end up with ISIS.

The Marmarita massacre

On August 17, 2013, in Marmarita,  Amin Nakour, Maya Barshini, Atalla Aboud, and Ibrahim Saadi were attending a Christian celebration to honor the annual commemoration of “Mother Mary’s Day”. The small village of Marmarita sits in the historic “Valley of the Christians” which is near Homs. It was a hot August night, and Christian party-goers were suddenly attacked the FSA and their allies. The four were killed when they attempted to flee the party in a car. The FSA and their allies, have vowed to make Syria a Sunni Muslim State, and have targeted Christians and minorities for 8 years.

The invasion, occupation, and destruction of Kessab

On March 21, 2014, Kessab was attacked when shelling from the Turkish side of the border rained down on the undefended Armenian village, sending its 2,000 residents into panic. Over 20,000 fanatics from the FSA and its allies came pouring over the border. They desecrated all 3 churches, and looted the village’s graves, before scattering the bones of the deceased around the town. The FSA held 26 elderly Armenians against their will for forty days in Turkey, where the FSA kidnappers brought the US Ambassador to Turkey, Francis J. Riccardone, Jr., to visit the elderly captives, but offered no help or release.

Samuel Poladian, who stayed in Kessab for the 3-month occupation, claims he heard Turkish military helicopters overhead on the morning of the invasion, and that Turkey assisted in the invasion.

Monseigneur Ayvazian said, ”They burned all my books and documents, many of them very old, and left my library with nothing but 60cm of ash on the floor.” He has a photo of the church altar, which was desecrated by the FSA before the Syrian Arab Army liberated Kessab on June 15, 2014. The Armenians claim the Kessab attack, which was directed solely against Armenian Christians, was Turkey’s brutal way of showing the Armenians and the Syrian government that they can attack at any time.

Armenian Church in Deir Ez Zor  destroyed

On November 10, 2014, terrorists blew up the Armenian Church in Deir el-Zour, which is dedicated to the 1.5 million Armenians slaughtered by the Turks during the 1915 genocide, when many hundreds of thousands of victims died in death camps around Deir el-Zour. Because the FSA has received arms from Turkey, the destruction of the church is regarded by Armenians as crimes carried out by Turks, harkening back to the genocide. “During the Armenian genocide, the Turks entered the church and killed its priest, Father Petrus Terzibashian, in front of the congregation,” Monseigneur Ayvazian said, adding “Then they threw his body into the Euphrates. This time when the Islamists came, our priest there fled for his life.”

The Turkish hatred of Armenians

The 19th century Armenian Surp Asdvadzadzin Church in Gurun district of Sivas (Sebastia), Turkey, will reopen as a museum. At different times the church has been used as a prison, movie theater, storeroom, and wedding hall. The local mayor hopes it will boost the development of tourism in the region. That is the stark reality in Turkey, where Muslims account for 98% of the population, compared to the large Christian minority in Syria. In Turkey, they have tried to erase their Christian history, and have used the old Armenian churches as museums, or locked up or ruined them.

The Armenian Genocide, Turkish denial, the US House recognition

The Armenian Genocide was the systematic mass extermination and expulsion of 1.5 million ethnic Armenians within the Ottoman Empire, from approximately 1914 to 1923. Other ethnic groups were similarly targeted for extermination; such as Assyrians and the Greeks, also strictly Christians. Mass executions were followed by the deportation of women, children, the elderly, and the infirm on death marches leading to Deir Ez Zor, which were driven forward by military escorts, as the deportees were deprived of food and water and subjected to periodic robbery, rape, and massacre.

On Oct. 29, 2019, the US House voted overwhelmingly to formally recognize the Armenian genocide and denounce it. Lawmakers had previously failed to support such a resolution to preserve the United States’ relationship with Turkey, a NATO ally that has steadfastly denied that the atrocities amounted to genocide. Livid at Turkey’s recent bloody military invasion in Syria, lawmakers saw a possible tie to the Armenian genocide, as many feared the withdrawal of American forces would lead to ethnic cleansing in northeast Syria.

December 1, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , , , | 1 Comment

WikiLeaks Proved the OPCW Cannot Be Trusted In Syria

By Paul Antonopoulos | November 26, 2019

The “Syrian regime” and chemical weapons has become a constant mantra in the Western World and has become synonymous with the Syrian War since it began in 2011. One of the most famous cases was the April 2018 chemical weapon attack in the Damascene satellite city of Douma that led to the U.S., UK and France conducting airstrikes against Syrian Army positions, despite the lack of evidence that the Syrian government was responsible for the incident.

The April 7, 2018 chemical incident killed between 40 and 50 people and was followed up by the Western Powers attack against Syria exactly a week later. Strangely though, the attack took place just mere hours before the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) inspectors arrived in Syria to investigate the attack. The U.S., UK and France knew that the eventual OPCW report would not match their claims and allegations against the Syrian government, and were quick to act in wasting their people’s tax dollars by dropping bombs on the Arab country.

The final OPCW report would not match the first report made by the Fact-Finding mission that were actually on the ground in Syria. An email released by whistleblowing Wikileaks on the weekend found that the final OPCW report on the Douma incident had been manipulated and changed by the Office of the Director-General of the OPCW, then held by Turkish diplomat Ahmet Üzümcü. This is an extremely disturbing discovery as the OPCW claims to have a “neutral role” by not assigning blame for chemical weapon use, but to find out the details of how the attack was conducted. This however was reversed last year with the OPCW being given permission to investigate perpetrators – but they still kept the mythology that they are “neutral.”

Although the report did not assign blame, the e-mail claims that the report “morphed into something quite different to what was originally drafted” and that “a bias has been introduced into the report, undermining its credibility” and that it “is disingenuous.” This was of course to bring the illusion that Syria was responsible for the attack, despite no tangible evidence.

In March, the OPCW report claimed that chlorine was the likely agent used in last year’s attack, but the newly released email explains that this claim “is highly misleading and not supported by the facts.”

“Omitting this section of the report has a serious negative impact on the report as this section is inextricably linked to the chemical agent identified… In this case, the confidence in the identity of chlorine or any other choking agent is drawn into question precisely because of the inconsistency with the reported and observed symptoms. The inconsistency was not only noted by the fact-finding mission team, but strongly supported by three toxicologists with expertise in exposure to chemical warfare agents”, the e-mail revealed.

The email then makes a final request that the original report be released in “its entirety” as the author fears that the manipulated report does not “reflect the work of the team” and “would negatively impact on the perceived credibility of the report, and by extension that of the Organisation.”

It must be remembered that when the OPCW report was released in March 2019, nearly a whole year after the incident. The released report ignored evidence provided by the Russian Foreign Ministry that the Al-Qaeda affiliated White Helmets were responsible for the attack, and that rather the report was attempting to justify the U.S.-led attack against Syria.

However, the release by WikiLeaks was only the final nail in the coffin confirming that the OPCW is not “neutral” and rather highly politicized. It was revealed only last week by the Grayzone that a second whistleblower from the OPCW came forward to accuse the top leadership of the organisation of suppressing critical evidence because of pressure from the U.S.

This demonstrates that there is a major rift between the actual inspectors on the ground and the higher-level officials of the organization who are willingly submitting to U.S. pressures despite trying to maintain their credibility of being neutral. The very appointment of Üzümcü, a former Turkish ambassador to Israel and a former Permanent Representative of Turkey to NATO, demonstrates that his very appointment had political motivations knowing Ankara’s aggressive foreign policy towards Syria since the beginning of the war.

There can be little doubt now that the claim of neutrality is far from reality and rather the top leadership of the OPCW are willing to omit, manipulate and change facts that were on the ground and discovered by their own Mission at the behest of the U.S. so it could pressure Syria and legitimize the illegal U.S.-led attack. This can only bring into question now the legitimacy of all the other chemical weapon attacks blamed on the Syrian government over the course of many years.

In addition, the OPCW should be the center of wide condemnation from the international community and the United Nations, who once shared a Joint Mission with the OPCW to remove Syria’s chemical weapons from October 2013 to September 2014. The OPCW has now lost all credibility and should be replaced by a new organization that does not appoint controversial Director-Generals or submit to pressure from external forces, like the U.S., and perhaps even Turkey.

However, the most telling of the politicization of the OPCW occurred at yesterday’s annual OPCW forum in the Hague, where the organization vehemently defended themselves against the well-timed Wikileaks expose. Fernando Arias, the current OPCW Director-General, defended the manipulated report, saying: “the nature of any thorough inquiry for individuals in a team is to express subjective views. While some of these diverse views continue to circulate in some public discussion forums, I would like to reiterate that I stand by the independent, professional conclusion [of the investigation].”

Simply put, WikiLeaks has helped prove that the OPCW can no longer be trusted and certainly is not neutral. Britain and France unsurprisingly at yesterday’s OPCW forum also defended the initial report and rejected the allegations of doctoring. But this of course was always to be expected.

Paul Antonopoulos is a Research Fellow at the Center for Syncretic Studies.

November 26, 2019 Posted by | Deception | , , , , , | 1 Comment

White Helmets involved in organ trafficking in Syria: Study

White Helmets members with the body of a person in al-Malajah village, south of Syria’s Idlib Province, November 17, 2019. (Photo by AFP)
Press TV – November 21, 2019

A survey by a Russian institution reveals that the White Helmets, which operates under the guise of an aid group in Syria, has been involved in the forcible removal of organs from civilians living in areas controlled by militants.

The survey, dubbed “White Helmets: terrorist abettors and sources of disinformation,” was conducted by the Foundation for the Study of Democracy.

Presenting the study’s findings on Thursday, Maxim Grigoryev, director of the organization, said the White Helmets evacuated people with the promise of medical assistance, but later handed their bodies — with some vital organs missing — to their relatives.

He added that the organ removals came to light after the bodies were examined.

“They [White Helmets] were a key element in this illegal scheme of organ removal. We learned about those incidents from the people whom we interviewed. This information came as an unpleasant surprise to us,” Grigoryev said.

He further noted that the survey was based on interviews with White Helmets members, former militants and residents of Syrian areas where White Helmets were most active, including Aleppo, Damascus, Douma, Dayr al-Zawr and Saqba.

Grigoryev also pointed out that the illegal extraction and trade of human organs was practiced in late 1990s, when White Helmets co-founder James Le Mesurier was in Yugoslavia. Le Mesurier, a former British army officer, was found dead in Istanbul earlier this month.

“The scheme of illegal extraction of organs from residents of Serbia was carried out on the territory where he [Le Mesurier] was staying, and exactly the same system was recreated in Syria. This is exactly what White Helmets are doing,” he said.

The White Helmets claims to be a humanitarian NGO, but it has been accused of working with anti-Damascus terrorists and staging false-flag chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

Syria views the White Helmets as “a branch of al-Qaeda and al-Nusra” militant outfits and a “PR stunt” by the US, the UK and France.

November 21, 2019 Posted by | War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

Leaked Memo Shows The U.S. Still Does Not Understand Turkey’s Syria Operation

By Paul Antonopoulos | November 21, 2019

An ‘internal memo’ that was intentionally leaked has blasted U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision for the U.S. military to withdraw from Syria, or more accurately, relocate from northern Syria to the oilfields in the east, as well as his complacency as Turkey commits “war crimes and ethnic cleansing” against the Kurdish minority.

The author of the memo, diplomat and former ambassador to Bahrain, William V. Roebuck, took every opportunity to lambast Trump as he faces impeachment 12 months before the next U.S. presidential elections. Roebuck questioned whether the U.S. could have prevented the Turkish military operation in northern Syria by increasing military patrols, sanctions and threats, but conceded that “the answer is probably not,” citing Turkey’s membership in NATO and its large army against the small American presence in the region. “But we won’t know because we didn’t try,” Roebuck added.

The New York Times claims that Roebuck’s memo was delivered to the State Department’s special envoy on Syria, James F. Jeffrey, and to dozens of officials focusing on Syria in the State Department, White House and Pentagon. However, the entirety of the 3,200-word memo failed to mention Ankara’s motivation in conducting this operation.

The Syrian perspective is that this is part of a project for a Greater Turkey. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu emphasized in an October interview that Turkey is not interested in territorial expansionism, stating “Russia is concerned about some sensitive issues, such as territorial integrity and the unity of the country [Syria]. We are also worried. If we look at all the joint statements of Turkey, Russia and Iran, we emphasize it.”

Although it may sound conspiratorial, this statement would have done little to alleviate this fear as Turkey has controlled large swathes of northern Syria since 2016 without any process to negotiate the return of these regions to Syrian government administration. In conjunction, Damascus would also remember the 1939 Turkish annexation of its Hatay province, Turkey’s invasion of neighboring Cyprus in 1974, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan invoking an early 20th-century irredentist document that claims northern Syria, northern Iraq, most of Armenia, the entirety of Cyprus, much of Bulgaria and Greece’s northern and eastern Aegean islands as under Turkish sovereignty.

Although territorial expansionism may be a motivating factor for many in the Turkish political and military leadership, it would be a secondary motivating factor. What Roebuck’s memo failed to mention is that Turkey’s Syria policy today is motivated by security concerns.

In an academic article titled “Turkey’s interests in the Syrian war: from neo-Ottomanism to counterinsurgency,” I first made the argument that Turkey’s initial interests in Syria was to expand its influence, and perhaps territory. What was not envisioned by the Turkish leadership was the re-emergence of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Syria, recognized as a terrorist organization by Turkey, Syria and the U.S., but not by Russia. The PKK in Syria fight under the banner of the People’s Protection Units (YPG), who comprise the majority of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Washington confusingly recognizes the PKK as a terrorist organization, but has directly funded, armed and supported the YPG in Syria. Ankara makes no distinction between the PKK and the YPG, and this has been a primary source of recent hostilities between Turkey and the U.S. Although Syria once supported the PKK against Turkey, it has recognized the group as a terrorist organization since 1998, initially easing the tense relations between Damascus and Ankara, with Erdoğan even describing his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad as his “brother.”

Former Turkish Foreign Minister (2009–2014), Ahmet Davutoglu, adopted a “zero problems with neighbors” policy that saw his country strengthen economic and political ties with the Islamic World by lifting visa restrictions and taking a larger active role in critical Islamic issues like the fallout between the Palestinian Hamas and Fatah groups, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and Syria and Israel. However, this new doctrine was taken to the test when the Syrian war began in 2011, with Ankara immediately contradicting the “zero problems with the neighbours” policy by supporting terrorist organizations and getting itself into disputes and hostilities with not only Syria, but also Iraq, Greece, Cyprus and Armenia.

The Arab Spring changed the status quo in the Middle East and provided an opportunity for Turkey to engage in power projections within a new regional order where Ankara would be the center of power. However, what Ankara had not calculated is that by abandoning the “zero problems with neighbors” policy and flooding Syria with tens thousands of terrorists, it was creating the very conditions for the PKK to return to Syria after a more than 20-year hiatus under the guise of protecting Syria’s Kurds.

Essentially, the project for a Greater Turkey has become secondary in the case of Syria, with Ankara’s current focus on what it calls a counterterrorist operation against the PKK/YPG, after they created the very conditions for them to return to Syria. Although Trump has whole teams dedicated to Syria, it appears that Washington refuses to acknowledge Turkey’s security concerns, just as Roebuck’s memo demonstrates.

The rise of the YPG brought questions of Kurdish independence or autonomy in northern Syria, which can also find justification for an autonomous or independent Kurdish state in eastern Turkey as the PKK, militarily and politically, has struggled for decades to achieve this. A Kurdish push for independence or autonomy in northern Syria not only threatens Turkey’s desire to illegally annex this region, but destabilizes Turkey as the Kurds can make a greater push for independence or autonomy in eastern Anatolia.

As Turkey strengthens its relations with Russia, the question remains whether the country will formally leave NATO or not. It is unlikely that the U.S. will push for Turkey’s expulsion from NATO as it has the second largest military in the alliance and occupies one of the most strategic spots on the planet.

Although the U.S. has turned to Greece as its Plan B to contain Russia in the Black Sea in any hypothetical war, Washington would know there is a great possibility that the next general election in Turkey could see Erdoğan out of power and replaced by a more Washington-friendly leader. Not only is Erdoğan’s popularity diminishing because of the economic crisis and his unpopular Syria policy, but the highly popular ex-economy minister Ali Babacan and ex-Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu have both recently left Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) to establish their own respective political parties, which will only further weaken AKP who have lost over 840,000 members in one year alone.

The U.S. would be hoping that by continuing to apply military, diplomatic and economic pressure against Turkey, the tense situation in Turkey will see Erdoğan’s popularity diminish, and the return of a  pro-U.S. leader. The difficult economic situation, the millions of refugees and the increased terror attacks in Turkey can all be directly attributed to Erdoğan’s Syria policy, and the U.S. will continue to use these means to pressure Turkey until it conforms to Washington’s desires and reverse its strengthened ties with Russia.

Many within Washington are unsatisfied with Trump’s Turkey policy and feel that they are not utilizing their advantages to pressure Erdoğan. Roebuck’s memo however appears to be a potential gamechanger as it has critically expressed opposition to Trump’s policy at a formal, and now public, level.

Roebuck publicly revealed that Turkey’s military operation in northern Syria is “spearheaded by armed Islamist groups on its payroll” who are committing what can “only be described as war crimes and ethnic cleansing.” The same jihadist forces utilized by Turkey are no different to the ones the U.S. supported against Assad, who not only ethnically cleansed Kurds, but also Shi’ites, Alawites, Antiochian Greeks, Assyrians and Armenians.

Roebuck also suggested that the U.S. must maintain relations with Turkey. As Turkey is at a crossroads with its political leadership, Washington knows there is a strong possibility that Erdoğan might not be around by the time the next general election is scheduled in 2023, although it appears likely that these elections will take place years earlier. With Roebuck’s ‘leak,’ it is likely that Trump will start receiving stronger domestic political pressure to deal with Turkey in a much tougher way and continue to make every destabilizing effort to remove Erdoğan and have him replaced with a pro-U.S. leader.

Paul Antonopoulos is a Research Fellow at the Center for Syncretic Studies.

November 21, 2019 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | 1 Comment

The TRUTH About Trump’s Oil Grab in Syria

21stCenturyWireTV | November 10, 2019

When Trump says “Take the Oil” in Syria, what does he really mean? Does the US really need the oil? Not really. So what was this major media event about last week? UK Column News co-hosts Mike Robinson and Patrick Henningsen answer this question, as they bring you the early week’s headlines from around the world. (This is a clip of the full news program broadcast on Nov 4, 2019).

November 14, 2019 Posted by | Video, Wars for Israel | , , | 1 Comment