Disinformation on the Douma chemical attack: OPCW FFM mandate

An incredible amount of disinformation on MH17 and Syria has been distributed by Kremlin controlled media like Sputnik and RT. Additionally notorious bloggers and ‘independant journalists’ add a lot of nonsense and cherry picking as well. Last but not least Kremlin officials spread clear disinformation.

In a series of blogs I will show examples of proven disinformation related to the chemical attack which took place in Douma in April 2018. At March 1 2019 OPCW published their final report on the Douma chemical attack.

In the first blogpost of the serie, disinformation on the mandate of the OPCW Fact Finding Mission is documented.

Directly after the publication of the OPCW FFM report at March 1, Russian media stated to report about it. RT wrote that OPCW did not report the party responsible for the attack, despite having the mandate.

Chlorine was likely used in a chemical attack in Syria’s Douma last April, the OPCW said. The chemical arms watchdog refrained from identifying the party responsible for the incident, despite earlier being granted such powers.

This line suggests OPCW wanted to hide or protect the party responsible for the attack. However RT is clearly incorrect in its statement.

On the OPCW website it is made clear the OPCW FFM does not have the mandate yet to identify the party responsible for the usage of chemical weapons.

The FFM’s mandate is to determine whether chemical weapons or toxic chemicals as weapons have been used in Syria. It does not include identifying who is responsible for alleged attacks.

In June 2018 the OPCW was given the mandate to also identify the party responsible for usage of chemical weapons. OPCW Technical Secretariat is currently putting in place arrangements to identify the perpetrators of the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic.

In June 2018 82 states voted in favour of a resolution giving the OPCW the mandate to place blame, 24 states voted against. This is a list of OPCW member states which voted against giving OPCW mandate to assingn blame to the party responsible for using chemical warfare: Belarus, Bolivia, Botswana, Burundi, Cambodia, China, Eritrea, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Laos, Myanmar, Namibia, Nicaragua, Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam.

In February 2019 Russia stated it is not willing to fund the establishment of OPCW attribution mechanism.

Not only Russian media was wrong on the mandate. A notorious website for spreading disinformation like 21stcenturywire.com did the same

The United Nations’ Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) recently released their report into the alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma, in the Syrian Arab Republic (SAR.) Despite having the mandate to apportion blame, the OPCW did not. Which is understandable given the evidence uncovered by their investigation.

For now I will not go into all the nonsense and leaving out relevant information in the 21stcenturywire.com post. I will do that in a future blogpost.

 

 

 


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