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Russian MFA: Statement on the OPCW Investigation and Identification Team regarding the April 7, 2018, Douma chemical attack

Source: Russian MFA

In connection with the release of yet another fabricated concoction by OPCW’s so-called Investigation and Identification Team (IIT), which, in violation of the provisions contained in the Chemical Weapons Convention and the UN Charter, has been tasked by the United States and its allies to assign responsibility for using chemical weapons, and a follow-up joint statement issued by countries waging a collective war against Russia, to use Foreign Minister of Germany Annalena Baerbock’s words, the Foreign Ministry would like to note the following.

Even at first glance, it is obvious that that IIT report with its more than 100 pages seeks to refute the incontestable conclusion that what happened in Douma was a brash falsification by the West. There is no doubt that this was a staged chemical weapons attack. Syrian and Russian experts, as well as former members of the OPCW Technical Secretariat who were initially involved in investigating the provocation by the White Helmets and shared their eyewitness testimonies, as well as prominent independent international experts and human rights activists have presented exhaustive and accurate evidence to this effect in the OPCW, the UN Security Council and General Assembly.

While unrelated to the subject of this would-be investigation, the clumsy attempts by the report’s authors and their sponsors to create an impression that Russia controlled the Syrian armed forces near Douma at the time of the incident can be viewed as further proof that this report is a politicised put-up job.

The experienced hand of NATO secret services is clearly visible through the text of the report. Still, it is ironic that even though it was Washington and the capitals serving its interests who ordered the report for political purposes, as far as the facts are concerned, the IIT authors confirmed that there was no need for the Syrian special forces to use two industrial cylinders with chlorine in military action. In reality, falsifiers from the White Helmets brought these cylinders to the residential building. There is no way they had been dropped from an aircraft because they lacked any visible impacts that would have been inevitable in this hypothetical scenario. By the same token, the stated figure of 43 persons who suffered from exposure to chlorine cannot be true since the gas was slowly sipping from the cylinders through their opened valves. According to data collected by Russian and Syrian military, the White Helmets brought the corpses of the alleged chemical weapons attack victims mentioned in the IIT report in advance from nearby territories. They had gunshot wounds and mine-blast injuries, while lacking any signs of exposure to chlorine. There is no doubt that further investigations into what happened there must be carried out in the context of the war crimes perpetrated by the Syrian opposition.

As for the accusations in the report that Russia failed to make information available to the IIT confirming the Russian version that the chemical weapons attack was a staged incident, Russia along with many other countries believes this unit to be illegitimate and has said so on multiple occasions. Refusing to work with the IIT is a matter of principle for Russia. There is a plethora of materials in the public domain confirming that the chemical weapons attack in Douma was a staged incident, including a report released by the Russian military. They can be accessed on the Foreign Ministry’s website, as well as on the OPCW’s and UN’s official websites.

It is obvious that the IIT’s task, which it failed to fulfil, consisted of justifying the aggression by the United States, Great Britain and France against Syria, who used the Douma incident as a pretext for carrying out a massive missile strike against Syria’s civilian and military sites just one week after the staged chemical incident on April 14, 2018, in violation of the fundamental international norms and principles.

Russia condemns the fact that the West manipulates what used to be a respected international body.

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