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Friday, June 30, 2017

Report on Idlib Chemical Attack Based on Questionable Evidence – Russian OPCW Rep

Some of you will not read this post or watch the video because it is from RT and they are interviewing a Russian representative to the Organisation for Prohibited Chemical Weapons. If you don't, you will deny yourself the opportunity to learn a great deal about the chemical weapon attack and its aftermath. 

It is not the easiest interview to listen to, Mr. Shulgin's English is quite broken, but it is certainly worth the effort. A few excerpts are below, but the there is much, much more in the interview video.

FILE PHOTO: Civil defense members inspect the damage at a site hit by airstrikes in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, Syria April 5, 2017 © Ammar Abdullah / Reuters

The latest OPCW report on the April Idlib chemical incident lacks sufficient evidence and is based on data provided mostly by only one side of the Syrian conflict without necessary verification, the Russian OPCW representative, Aleksandr Shulgin, told RT.

“The conclusions of this report are based on questionable data provided primarily by all kinds of the Syrian armed opposition groups and NGOs, including the infamous White Helmets,” Shulgin said, referring to the report of the fact-finding mission (FFM) reviewed by the UN’s chemical weapons watchdog, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), on Thursday.

This blog has shown where the White Helmets have faked news stories on several occasions, always in an effort to demonize the Syrian Army.

The Russian representative drew attention to the fact that the report itself repeatedly says that the FFM investigative team decided not to visit the incident scene due to “security factors” and was thus unable to gather the necessary material evidence directly on the spot.

The team then had to rely on evidence provided by “various NGOs” that were working on the scene and testimonies of the alleged attack victims as well as those of the medical specialists, who treated the victims in “one of the neighboring countries.”

The report further says that the team was unable to implement the chain of custody for the samples they obtained from third parties, despite the fact that it is a standard basic procedure for such types of investigation, Shulgin noted.

The FFM report seen by RT indeed says that “the team was unable to implement a complete chain of custody, by the team, for samples from source.” Shulgin explained that the lack of the full chain of custody makes such evidence questionable, as its source cannot be verified with certainty.