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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

Comment by the Information and Press Department on the Release of the first report by the OPCW Investigation and Identification Team ("Syrian Chemical Dossier")

9 April 202020:16


Established by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) as a result of targeted political and legal manipulations by Western countries, the "attributive" Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) released, on April 8, the findings of its first, pilot report on the three alleged chemical incidents in the Syrian village of Ltamenah on March 24, 25 and 30, 2017. The main conclusion in this document, compiled as the Western countries' political put-up job, is that "there are reasonable grounds to believe" that in all three instances, chemical weapons were used by the Syrian Arab Air Force, and the relevant orders had come directly from the higher authorities of the Syrian Arab Republic military command.

It was difficult to expect anything else from an entity that was heavily imposed by a narrow circle of "interested" states upon a purely technical body like the OPCW. They insisted on the creation of the IIT contrary to the fundamental provisions of the relevant Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and the generally recognised precepts of international law. The IIT's "powers," as we have repeatedly noted, infringe on the sphere of exclusive prerogatives of the UN Security Council, as enshrined in the UN Charter.

The experts recruited for the IIT, mainly from Western countries, have carried out an impressive amount of work, as the OPCW Technical Secretariat leaders stated in their "presentation" of the report. They produced an 80-page document, predictably based on the already known and quite dubious "insights" of the OPCW Fact Finding Mission to investigate chemical incidents in Syria. It also includes the noticeable "signature" of the former OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism, which completely discredited itself with its anti-Assad bias.

The authors of the report, and consequently the leaders of the OPCW Technical Secretariat, have thus become accomplices in the consistent violation of the basic principles and procedures of objective and unbiased investigations stipulated in the CWC, which requires the mandatory dispatch of experts directly to the sites of alleged incidents. The information gathered by the IIT mostly came from anti-government armed groups and pseudo-humanitarian NGOs affiliated with them, including the notorious White Helmets.

We have also noted that the report contains references to certain secret services data – apparently from the same states obsessed with a change of power in Damascus. There is no other word for it but misinformation. One example is the correlation drawn between two incidents in Ltamenah involving aerial bombs allegedly charged with sarin and the Syrian Air Force's actions in the same area – the Su-22 front-line bombers departing from Shayrat airbase, previously attacked by American missiles in a wrongful act of aggression. They motivated that attack, which violated the UN Charter, with Syria's use of aviation over the nearby town of Khan Shaykhun on April 4, 2017. We have repeatedly pointed out that the Su-22 military airplane flying across Khan Shaykhun simply could not have delivered a conventional payload to the opposite suburb several kilometers away, as was alleged. The rules of ballistics and the laws of physics cannot be overruled even by experienced specialists in "geopolitical engineering." By the way, at some point the American military also recognised this, albeit through gritted teeth, when they published the data of their own objective control.

Russian experts will carefully study the IIT's pilot report and give it a comprehensive analysis. We have no doubt that numerous international independent experts will do the same, those who have repeatedly proved the questionable nature of the never-ending accusations against the Syrian authorities of using toxic chemicals and high-grade chemical warfare agents. The scandalous story with the OPCW Technical Secretariat falsifying an investigation report of a high-profile incident in the Syrian city of Douma on April 7, 2018, which turned out to be a staged provocation by the White Helmets, was as good a proof as the IIT report that all those "attributors" actually have nothing else to offer but lies and falsifications. This is confirmed by the lightning-speed approval of the IIT report by Washington and some other Western capitals where anti-Syrian findings had been "programmed" in advance, as reality has shown.

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