OPCW Investigator to UN Security Council: No Gas Attack Took Place in Douma, Syria

By Derrick Broze

A former investigator with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) recently testified about attempts to suppress evidence which contradicted the OPCW’s final report. The report claimed Syrian President Bashar al Assad was responsible for an alleged gas attack in April 2018.

On January 20, investigator Ian Henderson testified at a United Nations Security Council Arria-Formula meeting on the fact-finding mission report on Douma, stating that there was in fact no gas attack in Douma, Syria in April 2018. Henderson worked for the OPCW for 12 years as an inspection team leader and engineering expert.

The Grayzone reports that Henderson told the UN Security Council session that his Fact Finding Mission (FFM) team “had serious misgivings that a chemical attack had occurred.” Henderson also told the UN Security Council that the OPCW had rejected the FFM scientific research, dismissed the entire team, and produce a report that completely contradicted the team’s initial findings. Henderson told the council he doesn’t consider himself a whistleblower and felt the UN Security Council session was a “legitimate and appropriate forum to explain again these concerns.”

Despite Henderson’s damning testimony, critics have noted that the UN Security Council meeting on the FFM to Douma was organized by Russia. However, The Grayzone notes that Russia’s UN representative claimed they had invited the the OPCW director-general and representatives of the organization’s Technical Secretariat to the event but neither organization attended.

The claims made by Ian Henderson mirror what has been revealed by WikiLeaks and OPCW whistleblowers in the last year. Beginning in May 2019, an internal OPCW engineering assessment authored by Ian Henderson was leaked to the public. The assessment claimed that cylinders found on the scene alleged to have been dropped by planes were “inconsistent with what would have been expected in the case of either cylinder having been delivered from an aircraft.” Henderson noted that it was more likely the cylinders had been placed at these locations by hand, not dropped from an aircraft.

By November 2019, a second OPCW whistleblower accused the organization of suppressing contradictory evidence, under pressure by three U.S. government officials.

WikiLeaks also released four document dumps of files related to the OPCW investigation into the alleged gas attack in Douma. These internal emails and memos also make it clear the OPCW leadership chose to release a conclusion that did not match the preliminary findings by the team which actually visited Douma, Syria.

Even before the release of the documents and the revelations from the OPCW whistleblowers, independent journalists have been questioning the veracity of claims of gas attacks in Douma, Syria.

In April 2018, I reported that one of several journalists able to gain access to Douma was Robert Fisk, two-time winner of the British Press Awards’ Journalist of the Year prize and a seven-time winner of the British Press Awards’ Foreign Correspondent of the Year. Fisk interviewed doctors and residents in Douma about the alleged chlorine gas attacks. He reported that he found no evidence of the gas attack.

Additionally, while speaking on German news ZDF Huete, ZDF correspondent Uli Gack reportedly stated, “People told us in a very convincing manner that this whole story was staged.” According to translations of Gack’s commentary, he also noted that “the militants brought canisters containing chlorine to the area and “actually waited for the Syrian Air Force to bomb the place, which was of particular interest for them.”

The claims of gas attacks in Douma were not the first to be called into question. Gas attacks in both 2013 and 2017 alleged to have been committed by President Assad have also been challenged. In fact, the alleged gas attack in Khan Shaykhun reportedly killed 74 and injured 557 was disputed by Theodore Postol, a professor emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and former scientist with the U.S Department of Defense. In a 14-page report, Postol debunked the White House report that concluded Assad was behind the attacks. Postol’s report found that the U.S. and supporting governments have not provided any “concrete” evidence to black up their claims. Postol also said it was increasingly likely that the attack was carried out by rebel forces.

It is important to note that corporate media and social media platforms have been actively working to suppress these stories because they reveal a hole in the narrative being pushed onto Americans. Namely, Americans were told that President Assad had committed an atrocity on his own people who were attempting to rebel against him. Within days of the initial reports of the alleged attack, the United States, the United Kingdom, and France launched airstrikes against Syria.

The U.S. government under Donald Trump ordered these airstrikes without Congressional approval or any semblance of representing the will of the American people. These missile strikes were based on what we now know to be just another lie to sell the American public into another war. Exposing the lies about the Douma gas attack is absolutely necessary to waking up the public to the crimes of the military-industrial complex (MIC).

One final point is that it should be obvious that challenging the narrative around the alleged gas attack is not an endorsement or support of Syria’s President Assad. The Mind Unleashed is dedicated to examining stories from all angles rather than blindly following the mainstream version of events. We encourage all of our readers to unleash their minds by doing their own research and drawing their own conclusions.

By Derrick Broze | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

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