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SirPalomides

The OPCW in Syria

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This story has been developing since 2019 when two whistleblowers from the OPCW came forward and claimed that the OPCW had conducted a cover-up with regards to an alleged chemical attack occurring in Douma, Syria in April 2018. Amid heavy US pressure, the OPCW suppressed or manipulated evidence to support the assertion by the US and allies that the Syrian government had carried out a chlorine gas attack. The OPCW chief has responded to the whistleblowers by claiming that they were not important OPCW personnel. Documents have now surfaced disproving that:

 

 

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The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has made false and misleading statements about two veteran inspectors who challenged a cover-up of their investigation in Syria, leaked documents show. The inspectors probed an alleged chemical weapons attack in the Syrian city of Douma in April 2018, and later objected when their evidence was suppressed. 

Documents obtained by The Grayzone reveal that OPCW leaders have engaged in a pattern of deception that minimized the inspectors’ senior roles in the Douma mission and diminished the prestige they enjoyed within the world’s top chemical weapons watchdog. 

OPCW Director General Fernando Arias has claimed that the first inspector, South African chemical engineering and ballistics expert Ian Henderson, “was not a member” of the Douma investigative team and only played a “minor supporting role.” 

However, contemporaneous communications from the OPCW’s Douma Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) directly contradict Arias. They show that Henderson was indeed a Douma team member, and that OPCW leadership directed him to lead its most critical inspections. They also show that Arias, rather than acknowledge that Henderson was an FFM member, offered up a false explanation for why Henderson was in Syria at the time of the probe. 

Arias has also disingenuously minimized the role of the second inspector, known only to the public as “Inspector B.” This will be examined in part two of this article. 

The OPCW’s investigation was triggered when extremist anti-Syrian government militants and Western states accused the Syrian army of dropping gas cylinders on two buildings in Douma, killing dozens of civilians. The U.S., France, and Britain bombed Syrian government targets days later, asserting their right to enforce the chemical weapons “red line.” After a nearly year-long investigation, the OPCW issued a final report in March 2019 that claimed “reasonable grounds” existed to believe that a chlorine attack occurred. 

However, a trove of leaked documents has shown that the OPCW leadership suppressed and manipulated evidence that undermined the allegation against the Syrian military. The first of such leaks was an engineering assessment authored by Henderson that concluded that the gas cylinders in Douma were likely “manually placed.” 

That conclusion suggested the incident was staged on the ground by the armed militants who controlled Douma at the time. Additional leaks later revealed that Inspector B protested the censorship of critical evidence and toxicology reports, as well as the manipulation of chemical samples and witness statements. Henderson and B also complained that OPCW leaders excluded all of the Douma investigators except for one paramedic from a so-called “core” team that wrote the organization’s final report. 

In response to the scandal, OPCW Director General Arias convened an inquiry into the Henderson leak and unveiled its findings in February 2020. In a bid to strip Henderson and Inspector B of credibility, Arias and the inquiry team painted the two as rogue actors with only peripheral roles.

Evidence obtained by The Grayzone reveals that Arias’ characterization of the two inspectors was inaccurate, and contradicted by facts OPCW officials kept private. 

 

 

https://thegrayzone.com/2020/05/06/opcw-douma-whistleblower/

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One thing is for certain, you cannot believe or trust the official line pushed by governments anymore. 

 

Just lies and trickery to suit its own agenda divorced of the people who they should be serving.

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