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OPCW Whistleblowers Expose Recent Chemical Weapons Report on Syria as Politically Motivated

April 29, 2020 (EIRNS)—Max Blumenthal’s the Grayzone published a report attributed to insider whistleblowers from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (not named for obvious reasons) which savages the OPCW report, released in early April, on the alleged chemical attacks in March 2017 on the town of Ltamenah in Syria’s northern Hama province. The report had claimed “that there are reasonable grounds to believe” that the Syrian army was responsible for alleged sarin gas attacks. This was the series of attacks that immediately preceded the April 4 one on Khan Sheikhoun which was used to goad President Donald Trump into launching cruise missile strikes on the Syrian Shayrat air base on April 7, 2017.

Blumenthal, in an editorial note appended at the beginning, states that while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed full support for the Ltamenah report, he failed to note that a previous OPCW report, the one on the fake chemical attack on Douma on April 7, 2018, has become the subject of major controversy because of whistleblower leaks, many of which were published by the Grayzone. “The evidence collected in Douma undermined allegations of Syrian government guilt and strongly suggested a staged event by the armed opposition,” Blumenthal writes. “Leaked internal OPCW emails and documents show that the Douma investigators protested the censorship of their findings, setting off an unfolding cover-up scandal that has called the OPCW’s impartiality into question.”

In this new report, the whistleblowers observe at the outset that the Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) “has been loyal to its raison d’être,” that is, it produced a report whose conclusion had already been decided for political reasons. “In fact, a number of impartial and principled professionals no longer wish to be associated with the politically motivated reports being issued by the OPCW FFM (the Fact Finding Mission which produced the Douma report) and now the IIT,” the whistleblowers write. “Many consider this work and these reports to be procedurally and scientifically flawed. Some of us believe they should not be seen as representing the work of OPCW inspectors at all.”

“The recent publication of the IIT report into alleged chemical attacks at Ltamenah on March 24, 25 and 30 2017, has highlighted again the misuse of the OPCW by influential state parties to further their political and foreign affairs objectives,” they continue. “It was very clear to us during the creation and setup of the IIT that its intent was not to investigate alleged incidents of chemical attacks in Syria. Instead, the team was created simply to find the Syrian government guilty of chemical attacks.” https://thegrayzone.com/2020/04/28/opcw-insiders-ltamenah-chemical-weapons-report/

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