The Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), said in a May 15 report that chlorine had been “likely used as a chemical weapon” in the supposed chemical weapon attack in Saraqib, Idlib Governorate, Syria, on February 4.
According to the report published on May 16, the FFM “determined that chlorine was released from cylinders by mechanical impact in the Al Talil neighbourhood of Saraqib”.
The conclusions of the FFM were based on two cylinders, which had been allegedly containing chlorine, witness testimony and “patients at medical facilities shortly after the incident who showed signs and symptoms consistent with exposure to chlorine and other toxic chemicals”.
A former British ambassador to Syria Peter Ford described this report as “seriously misleading” and “deeply disturbing,” RT reported.
“The mission was supposed to be fact finding, but when you actually read the 34 pages of the report, you discover that there are no facts in it at all – not one fact which is supported by independent observers,” Ford said.
“You hear ridiculous claims such as, ‘we heard barrel bombs being dropped from helicopters.’ Well, I’m sorry that is a physical impossibility. And the report is full of idiotic statements like this that even a child could discard.”
Ford strongly criticized questionable sources, which had provided evidences for the OPCW. Among these ‘selected’ non-governmental organizations (NGO) Ford marked Belgium-based Same Justice/Chemical Violations Documentation Center of Syria (CVDCS), the White Helmets and the US-based Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS).
Ford pointed out that the White Helmets is a “well-known jihadi auxiliary who have assisted in beheadings and who are notorious for making propaganda,” as well as SAMS that has “a similar reputation.”
“Believe it or not the inspectors did not go to the… alleged scene of the crime. Why? Because it is in the hands of jihadists. That is why they did not go,” Ford pointed out.
“These people are totally affiliated with the jihadists, yet the inspectors accepted at face value their samples which could have come from absolutely anywhere.”
While the OPCW doesn’t determine the responsible side for the attack, the White Helmets is first to make allegations.
The White Helmets became the main source of information of the alleged chemical weapon attack in Douma on April 7. The organization claimed that the supposed attack had been carried out by the Syrian government.
On April 9, the Russian Center for the Reconciliation of the Warring Sides in Syria examined Douma and found no traces of chemical weapons.
The OPCW visited 2 sites in Douma on April 21 and 25 collecting samples there. The results haven’t been provided yet.
On April 26, Moscow’s delegation to the OPCW and witnesses of the alleged chemical attack held a press briefing in Hague to debunk accusations against Syrian government. Syrian witnesses filmed by the White Helmets for their Douma chemical attack video revealed the absence of the attack and that they had staged in the fake video for food.
On May 3, the US CBS TV channel reported that the US State Department had freezed financing the White Helmets.