Late Saturday WikiLeaks released more documents which contradict the US narrative on Assad’s use of chemical weapons, specifically related to the April 7, 2018 Douma incident, which resulted in a major US and allied tomahawk missile and air strike campaign on dozens of targets in Damascus.
The leaked documents, including internal emails of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) — which investigated the Douma site — reveal mass dissent within the UN-authorized chemical weapons watchdog organization’s ranks over conclusions previously reached by the international body which pointed to Syrian government culpability. It’s part of a growing avalanche of dissent memos and documents casting the West’s push for war in Syria in doubt (which had resulted in two major US and allied attacks on Syria).
This newly released batch, WikiLeaks reports, includes a memo stating 20 inspectors feel that the officially released version of the OPCW’s report on Douma “did not reflect the views of the team members that deployed to [Syria]”. This comes amid widespread allegations US officials brought immense pressure to bear on the organization.
The Daily Mail’s Peter Hitchens, who saw the leaked documents just prior to WikiLeaks going public with them had this to say:
Sources stress that the scientists involved are ‘non-political, utterly uninterested in any strategic implications of what they reveal’.
They just ‘feel that the OPCW has a duty to be true to its own science, and not to be influenced by political considerations as they fear it has been’.
An internal memo seen by The Mail on Sunday suggests that as many 20 OPCW staff have expressed private doubts about the suppression of information or the manipulation of evidence.
This suppression of information included key evidence which undermined claims Syrian military helicopters dropped a gas cylinder from the air, which had long been the linchpin in Washington’s accusation that “Assad gassed his own people” at Douma.
The leaks also suggest the OPCW possessed scientifically credible evidence showing the victims of the alleged attack had symptoms not consistent with chemical gas exposure (prior OPCW statements pointed to chlorine use), casting further doubt on that aspect of the investigation.
But perhaps the most important leak in the new trove of emails centers on a raging debate among scientists over whether to include in their report the phrase “chlorine containing compounds were detected” and how to qualify it — given it was found only in such trace amounts as to be consistent with common household levels of chlorine-related items.