New false-flag operations against Damascus are “possible, since our American partners are once again threatening to take military action against Syria, but we will not allow that,” Russia’s permanent representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Aleksandr Shulgin, said during a press conference in The Hague on Thursday.
The meeting was called by Russia’s OPCW mission and featured witnesses of the April 7 alleged chemical incident in the city of Douma. It highlighted the findings of Russian military experts, who were among the first to reach the site of the purported attack and locate the “munitions” that supposedly hit the residential buildings.
“Russian experts performed a detailed analysis of the information on the ground,” Major-General Igor Kirillov, the head of Russia’s Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Protection (RKhBZ) Troops, said. “Two gas cylinders, allegedly dropped by the government forces from helicopters, were found in two apartments.”
The cylinders and the damage they supposedly caused did not fit the tale of an airstrike entirely, Kirillov said. One of the cylinders lacked any makeshift upgrades, such as fins, to make it usable as an aerial munition, and, surprisingly, it was not even deformed.
“An empty gas cylinder found at the top floor. The apartment was partially destroyed earlier by an aerial bomb explosion, parts of roof and outer wall were missing,” Kirillov stated. “Other walls were sprayed with shrapnel. It’s quite peculiar that the cylinder was not deformed, which doesn’t fit its purported fall from a big altitude on concrete floor.”
The other cylinder, while fitted with some crude fins, also remained in nearly pristine condition despite its “fall.” The device miraculously did little to no damage to the room it supposedly hit, besides a large hole in the ceiling, which, however, was unlikely made by the object, according to military specialists.
“The cylinder has partially retained impermeability and is almost undamaged, which is impossible after a fall from some 2,000 meters, the usual altitude used by the Syrian army helicopters,” Kirillov said. “A tail part of an unguided rocket has been uncovered on the roof near the gap in the ceiling. The munition was likely to make the hole, but we cannot rule out an artificial nature of the damage made to the roof, since we discovered a pinch bar at the stairwell of the building.”
The cylinder was likely hauled by the “authors of the staged video” from outside, the official stated, as “multiple chips and dragging marks at the stairwell” indicated. An apartment below was being used by its owner to breed chickens, and all the livestock miraculously “made through the so-called chemical attack alive,” according to Kirillov. read more…
“Reckless development of the missile defense system by the US could have dire consequences for the international security system not only in the Euro-Atlantic region but in the Asia-Pacific one as well,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. It added that the US policy in this field has turned into “one of the major obstacles to the further nuclear disarmament” and created “dangerous conditions for a renewed arms race.”
Washington did not slow down the development of its missile defense system after it, together with five other major international powers, reached a deal with Iran on its nuclear program back in 2015, even though the Iranian nuclear program was presented by the US as the major reason for the deployment of missile defense systems in Europe, the ministry noted. In the meantime, the US global missile shield has already become “disproportionate” to any potential threats, it added.
The missile defense systems deployed across the world appear to be “parts of a dangerous global project aimed at ensuring the US overwhelming military superiority at the expense of other nations’ security,” the statement said. They “change the strategic balance of power in the field of offensive weapons” and pose “serious risks of global instability.” read more…
Militants blocking OPCW inspectors from ‘chem-attack’ site in Douma – Russian deputy FM
“There are militants who terrorize citizens and, among other things, impede the normal work of representatives of the international community – the UN and the OPCW [Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons]. Someone does not want an objective professional investigation [to be carried out],” the diplomat told RIA Novosti on Thursday. When asked if there is a security threat to the OPCW mission, the deputy minister said: “As events show, there is.” read more…
Containers with chlorine from Germany, smoke bombs from UK’s Salisbury found in E. Ghouta – Moscow
“In the liberated areas of Eastern Ghouta, Syrian government troops have found containers with chlorine – the most horrible kind of chemical weapons – from Germany, and also smoke grenades produced – please pay attention [to this] – in the city of Salisbury, the UK,” Zakharova told a news conference in Moscow on Thursday.
The findings undermine “the faith in humaneness” of some states’ leadership, who “give such orders and make such decisions,” Zakharova added.
Prior to the alleged chemical incident in Douma, which was used by the US, the UK and France as a pretext for striking Syria last Saturday, Russia had repeatedly warned about possible provocations by the militants, according to the spokesperson. Moscow had also sent data to the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on chemical-weapons production facilities in the liberated areas of Eastern Ghouta. read more…
Britain admits OPCW did not confirm ‘essential evidence’ on origin of Skripal poison
Where’s the motive? Another ex-British military chief questions Syrian chemical attack
Shaw, a former British Special Forces chief, has challenged the UK, US and French government’s line on the alleged Syrian chemical attack in Douma. He told the Daily Mail that Assad has rebels leaving the Eastern Ghoutan province by the busload – so it just doesn’t add up. read more…
A group from the UN Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) tasked with surveying Douma visited two locations in the Eastern Ghouta town on April 17 before deciding to withdraw, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said in a statement on Wednesday.
At the first site, the reconnaissance team was met by a “large crowd,”and “the advice provided by the UNDSS was that the team should withdraw,” a statement released by the OPCW said. At the second site, the team “came under small arms fire and an explosive was detonated.” One Syrian security officer was injured in a resulting firefight, according to a statement by the Russian military. It is not clear who was behind the ambush. After the incident, the security team decided to return to Damascus.
“This incident again highlights the highly volatile environment in which the FFM [fact-finding mission] is having to work and the security risks our staff are facing,” the OPCW’s Director-General Ahmet Uzumcu said in the statement.
The UNDSS team will return to Douma as “soon as practically possible,” Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for the UN secretary general, said on Wednesday.
Washington had previously accused Damascus and Moscow of blocking the fact-finding team from reaching Douma. However, the statement released by the OPCW made no mention of any interference by the Russian or Syrian governments. In fact, the OPCW said it was working closely with Russian Military Police to review the security situation in Douma. read more…