The Grayzone: OPCW Tampered with Findings of Douma Attack Investigation

Nov 23, 2021

Source: The Grayzone

By Al Mayadeen

Expert toxicologists concluded that chlorine gas was not what killed victims in the Douma attack, adding that OPCW officials censored explosive findings.

The Grayzone: the suppression of the toxicologists is among a series of deceptions by the OPCW

The Grayzone website published revealing a series of “leaks [that] expose how senior Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) officials censored this explosive finding” in the Syrian city of Douma.

In its investigation, the website stated that “in the early days of the OPCW’s investigation of an alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria, expert toxicologists ruled out chlorine gas as the cause of death for more than 40 civilians reported at the scene.”

The investigation confirmed that “instead of publishing this finding, senior OPCW officials concealed it, and then launched an investigation of a veteran inspector who questioned the censorship.”

It added that “the suppression of the toxicologists is among a series of deceptions by the OPCW leadership to corrupt the Douma probe’s scientific process, as detailed in this new multi-part investigation by The Grayzone.”

According to the investigation, this report was concealed, undermining the attack as a public pretext for US-led airstrikes on Syria two months prior, and raising the possibility that the rebels launched the April 7, 2018 incident to frame the Syrian government.

It also revealed that during the mission of an OPCW team to meet with several toxicologists in Germany, the rapid onset of heavy foam shown in the videos, documenting what happened in Douma, was not compatible with the accusation of exposure to toxic chlorine. 

The Grayzone: Expert toxicologists ruled out chlorine gas as the victims’ cause of death. 

The investigation added that the OPCW did not publish the findings in Germany but instead left the investigation open to many possibilities, and therefore did not allow for the completion of the investigation. 

“I imagine you have similar concerns about how such pivotal information could have been omitted from the report – possibly biasing the outcome,” Whelan wrote his colleagues. He asked them to join him in raising this with the OPCW chief. Instead, the OPCW investigated him.

The Grayzone also accused the organization’s director-general, Fernando Arias, of suppressing the toxicologists’ critical findings: When Arias was asked about excluding the findings of the toxicologists from the final report, before the European Parliament, he made false excuses as to why he refused to address the alleged scientific fraud in the Douma investigation.

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