As the Russian delegation to the OPCW conducts a press briefing at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’ headquarters, the Western media is blasting the evidences that it is presenting, which includes the testimony of some of the very alleged victims of the suspected chemical attack that took place in Douma on April 7th, allegedly by Syrian government forces under the direction of the Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad.
One of those witnesses who has come forward at the briefing is the boy, Hassan Diab, who was featured prominently in the video that the White Helmets NGO released in a twitter post, and which was then used by Western governments and media as evidence of the supposed chemical attack which was utilized as a pretext to conduct an illegal joint military ‘precision’ strike on the Syrian capital of Damascus.
In the video produced by the White Helmets, the ‘evidence’ of the chemical attack, Hassan Diab is shown allegedly suffering from the symptoms of a chlorine gas attack, and being hosed with water while White Helmets ‘volunteers’ shout ‘chemical attack’, rushing about with children in their arms.
The briefing also hosts medical personnel who witnessed the incident and who also treated people at the site, who are adamant that no one who was treated at the site shown in the White Helmets video was experiencing symptoms of such an attack.
This video footage, which is now being described as showing a scene that is inconsistent with the claims made by Western governments and media, shows no real evidence for a chlorine gas attack, other than the shouts made by White Helmets participants.
To date, this video footage, posted to Twitter, is the only evidence that has been released to the world of a supposed chemical attack in Douma on the 7th of April. Based on the testimony of these witnesses, over a dozen of whose testimonies are presented at the briefing, the video therefore cannot be considered legitimate evidence of a chemical attack, let alone a justification of Western military intervention in Syria.
Russia and Syria are declaring that the video is that of a staged event, and therefore is not genuine, while the testimonies of witnesses at this press briefing are consistent with this finding, as no real victims or casualties of chemical weapons have so far turned up as a result of the alleged chemical attack. Much less evidence that a chemical weapons attack was launched by Syrian government forces, or even at the behest of the Syrian President.
The West is calling the press briefing a ‘mounting propaganda campaign’, with the British Ambassador to the OPCW, Peter Wilson, calling it ‘a stunt’ to ‘misuse’ the OPCW as a ‘theatre’ to ‘undermine the OPCW’s work’.
Similarly, the French Ambassador to the OPCW, Phillippe Lalliot, is denouncing it as an ‘obscene masquerade’, and is indirectly lodging accusations that the contents of the briefing are bogus.
Additionally, the AFP, in this article, is even going so far as to hint that the boy testifying before the press briefing may not actually be Hassan Diab.
In a mounting propaganda campaign, Hassan, who is seen in the footage being hosed down and shivering, told a press conference in a hotel in The Hague that he didn’t know why people began pouring water on him in the hospital.
He was among a dozen people presented as victims or doctors or hospital workers, who all told similar stories — that someone had shouted out “chemical weapons” as hospital staff were treating injured people from a missile bombardment and panic spread.
“Unknown people started creating chaos, and pouring water on people. We were specialists and we could see there were no symptoms of the use of chemical weapons,” said physician Khalil, who said he was on duty in the emergency care unit.
He said “patients with choking symptoms” had begun coming to the hospital about 7:00pm, but it “was the result of people breathing in dust and smoke” from the bombardment.
Everyone was treated and sent home, Khalil added, denying reports from the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) and the White Helmets who jointly said dozens of people had died.
Britain boycotted the group’s earlier briefing at the OPCW, saying it was a stunt, in a move followed by France, the United States and EU countries.
“The OPCW is not a theatre. Russia’s decision to misuse it is yet another Russian attempt to undermine the OPCW’s work,” said British ambassador to the OPCW Peter Wilson in a statement.
French ambassador Philippe Lalliot also denounced the briefing as an “obscene masquerade”.
“This masquerade only betrays the huge nervousness of those who organised it and who have the most to fear from the OPCW investigation,” Lalliot said.
“No-one is fooled. The truth will come out.”
– ‘We saw no poison’ –
Hassan, who was said to be 11 years old, told dozens of journalists: “We were in the basement. We heard cries on the street that we should go to the hospital. We got scared.”
“We went to the hospital through the tunnel. They started pouring water on me in the hospital I don’t know why.”
His father, Omar Diab, said: “The children were taken without explanation. After that we learnt it was fake. We never saw any poison or chemical agents. Neither I nor my family.”
The OPCW has also criticised the meeting in its headquarters, saying it had recommended to Russia that it should wait until its inspectors had completed their work.
The AFP then goes on to label the White Helmets organization ‘a humanitarian organization’, who are being unfairly targeted by the Syrian government for the label of ‘terrorists’.
The White Helmets, a humanitarian organisation made up of some 3,000 volunteers, has regularly been the target of disinformation campaigns by the Syrian regime which has labelled them “terrorists”.
But the White Helmets have a history of cooperating with terrorist organizations in Syria, and of conducting horrific atrocities, as documented here:
Meanwhile, Western governments insisted that they were in possession of ‘proof’ of the chemical weapons attack and that the Syrian government perpetrated it. The US has alleged that they are in possession of blood and urine samples from the site of the alleged attack which provided conclusive proof that chlorine and some unidentified nerve agent were used in the attack.
France’s President, Emmanuel Macron, is also insisting that his government is in possession of “proof”, which is declared without providing any details relative to what the proof is or how it was acquired, that not only were chemical weapons employed in this attack, but that Bashar al-Assad’s regime was indeed behind it all. Additionally, the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, declared that nearly 600 people were killed in the attack, all the while pointing to the video produced by the White Helmets on Twitter.
These alleged ‘proofs’ which were never released for examination by any independent authority, were never publicly presented, but were nevertheless utilized as the catalyst to launch a joint offensive against the Syrian capital of Damascus.
The video in question, however, does not show 575 people suffering from or dying from exposure to a chemical and ‘mystery’ nerve agent. Neither, however, have such casualties appeared in the town of Douma in or around the site as a result of exposure to the banned chemical agents. Hence, evidence that a chemical weapon was utilized in Douma is severely lacking.
It begs the question, from whence the blood and urine tests that the US and WHO are claiming as their ‘evidence’? How was this ‘evidence’ obtained? Where are these victims of chlorine gas and the ‘nerve agent’? Why are the testimonies of witnesses from the site of the alleged attack not describing events consistent with a legitimate chemical attack? Further, why is the West being so rash to judgment against the presentation of the testimonies of these witnesses? Why are France and the US boycotting the briefing? If the chemical research lab in Damascus that was struck by US led coalition air strikes was indeed manufacturing or storing chemical weapons, why has the OPCW declared that their investigation has found no such evidence?
Apparently, evidence is to be claimed, and not shown. Victims are to be seen, and not heard. Claims are to be made, and not verified. Guilt is to be assumed, and not proven. Military strikes are to be conducted, but not justified. Military campaigns are to be carried out, but not for cause. The forces of the West are righteous, but not for reason.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.