by Martin Odoni

NOTE: This is an excerpt from an article I have written for The Word.

…. Robert Fisk of The Independent, who interviewed medical personnel in Douma, found that there were no symptoms among the victims consistent with exposure to chlorine gas. Instead, they all showed symptoms of hypoxia i.e. they had been breathing in too much brick dust thrown into the air by conventional warheads.

When the OPCW team of engineers, headed by Ian Henderson, a South African weapons inspector of over twenty years’ standing at the organisation, carried out their analysis of the strikezone, they found clear indications that what evidence there was of chlorine being used in the original attack appeared to have been planted manually, and not dropped from aircraft.

Screenshot from page 8 of the OPCW report

Since that time, people at the top of the OPCW have gone to extraordinary lengths to bury Henderson’s report; the findings were not even mentioned during an address to the UN Security Council on the Douma attack in the spring of 2019. Henderson’s report was leaked online a few weeks later, and the OPCW, while admitting it is genuine, have increasingly turned to attacking and trying to discredit Henderson – their own long-serving agent.

The growing worry is that the political neutrality of the OPCW has been compromised, and that it is now tailoring any findings in relation to Syria, to conform to US and British anti-Assad narratives.

Bustani was forced out of the OPCW in 2002 by US neoconservatives over his refusal to tailor evidence to support the upcoming 2003 Iraq War.

This week, the OPCW’s original Director-General, José Bustani – forced out in 2002 for refusing to endorse US narratives about ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’ in Ba’athist Iraq – addressed the Security Council in an online conference. He expressed great alarm at the organisation’s damaged credibility, and possibly corrupt misconduct.

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