[Originally published in German by Die Informationsstelle Militarisierung (IMI) e.V. This translation is based on the Google Translate version.]
On February 5, 2003, US Secretary of State Colin Powell presented CIA images from Iraq to the United Nations Security Council to testify that the Iraqi government continued to possess weapons of mass destruction. Statements by UNMOVIC, the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, that there was no evidence of this, were ignored. Six weeks later, Operation Iraqi Freedom, the illegal war waged by the United States and United Kingdom, began.
There are similar reports about Syria, with the difference that it is not a government providing the alleged evidence, but the OPCW, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, an international body based in The Hague.
On April 7, 2018, Douma, a city of 100,000 people not far from Damascus, was allegedly attacked with chemical weapons. The OPCW responded by dispatching a team of scientists who concluded in their investigative report that 43 people reportedly killed in the attack were unlikely to have died from chemical weapons. Experts from the OPCW Douma team discovered that instead of this report, the OPCW management intended to publish a falsified report stating that chemical weapons had been used. This deception was prevented by OPCW scientists. Eventually, however, the final report contained manipulated accounts of the attack and unscientific conclusions regarding the chemical substances found, the demonstrated toxicology and the ballistics.
Furthermore, the OPCW relied on the statements of only one of the two groups of contemporary witnesses who had been identified. This was a group of Syrian refugees who had been interviewed in Turkey with the help of the White Helmets. The second group of witnesses were mostly medical workers in Damascus who said they were working at the hospital at the time victims of the alleged chemical weapons attack were seeking medical help. The testimonies of this group of witnesses indicated that dust and fume inhalation, but not chemical poisoning, was the cause of the patients’ discomfort. These important statements were not referred to in the OPCW report. However, the account of the witnesses interviewed by the White Helmets is highlighted in the OPCW report. These reported testimonies were accepted without the possibility of examination, even though the testimonies were often contradictory, especially with regard to the question of chemical poisoning.Continue reading