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  • Damage wrought during the course of the war in Syria.

    Damage wrought during the course of the war in Syria. | Photo: Wikipedia Commons

Published 14 May 2019

An unpublished report reveals OPCW's doubts about what really happened in the city of Douma suffered a chemical attack in April 2018.

An academic research group obtained what they believe to be an unpublished OPCW report that casts doubt on the official narrative that blamed the Syrian government for the use of chemical weapons in the city of Douma in April 2018.

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Syria: 'Chemical Weapons Probe Will Expose Western Lies'

An academic group named the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media, made up both independent and university-affiliated researchers in the U.S. and U.K., discovered an unpublished report written by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) that cast doubts about who was responsible for the chemical attack in Douma.

At the time, opposition Islamist groups such as Jaysh al-Islam reported that the Assad government had dropped chemical weapons on the city. This was then reported in Western media outlets, leading to growing calls for U.S. intervention and regime change in the Arab country. The Syrian government has always denied involvement, and blamed opposition terror groups for the attack.  

The unpublished report, contrary to the mainstream narrative, shows that the experts trying to reconstruct the incident based on the physical evidence at the scene had competing hypotheses.

One hypothesis states that the liquid chlorine cylinders used in the attack may have been dropped from above by plane or helicopter, suggesting government involvement.

Other evidence , however, showed that the cylinder could not have physically dropped through roof and maintained the shape it had, which means it “was in the possession of the people who placed it on the terrace next to a pre-existing crater. ” This suggests involvement by those already on the ground in the then rebel-held city.  

The concluding comments, which never made it onto the official report, criticized the original hypothesis, saying “It was not possible to establish a set of circumstances where the post-deformation cylinder could fit through the crater with the valve still intact (whether or not an end-cap was assumed to have been fitted at the front of the cylinder), and the fins deformed in the manner observed.”

"The dimensions, characteristics and appearance of the cylinders, and the surrounding scene of the incidents, were inconsistent with what would have been expected in the case of either cylinder being delivered from an aircraft. In each case the alternative hypothesis produced the only plausible explanation for observations at the scene.”

The academic group that brought this to light investigate the truth behind official narratives on Syria. One of the groups co-founders, Piers Robinson was recently forced out of his lecturer position at the University of Sheffield in the U.K., following attacks in the university newspaper for his criticism of ‘anti-semitism’ claims against the Labour Party, and for his research on Syria.

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