Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Syria rejects OPCW report on 2018 chemical attack in Douma

The Syrian foreign ministry has categorically rejected a report by the international chemical weapons watchdog that claims Damascus carried out a 2018 chemical attack against its own people.

“Syria totally rejects the report released by the so-called ‘Investigation and Identification Team’ of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) about alleged chemical attack in Douma on April 2018, in addition to its conclusions,” the Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

In the OPCW’s report, which came out on Friday, the body’s investigators said there were “reasonable grounds to believe” that at least one Syrian air force helicopter had dropped two cylinders of toxic gas on the town of Douma near the capital Damascus during the so-called incident.

The ministry, however, asserted that the report lacked scientific and objective evidence.

It added that “this misleading report did not surprise Syria and proved once again the validity of its position on the OPCW’s reports, which lack credibility.”

The attack reportedly hit the town on April 7, 2018, with Western countries quickly blaming the alleged incident on the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

A week later, the United States, Britain, and France launched a coordinated missile attack against sites and research facilities near Damascus and the western Syrian city of Homs with the purported goal of paralyzing the Syrian government’s capability to produce chemicals.

Damascus has, however, repeatedly said that no chemical attack had happened on the town at the time and that the incident had been staged by foreign intelligence agencies to pressure the Syrian government at a time when it was making significant advances against foreign-backed terrorists across the Arab country’s soil.

The Syrian government also says it believes that the incident was staged by the White Helmets, a Western- and Israeli-backed group, which claims to be a humanitarian NGO, but has long been accused of working with anti-Damascus terrorists and staging false-flag gas attacks.

“Those who prepared this report neglected the objective observations raised by State parties, experts, academics, and former OPCW inspectors, known for their expertise and knowledge,” the Syrian foreign ministry’s statement added.

“Syria calls upon all State parties in the OPCW and the UN to assume their responsibilities to preserve the independence, credibility, and future of this organization, and do not allow the US and other Western countries to dominate its work, politicize its tasks or use this organization as a tool to achieve their political goals,” the statement concluded.

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