OPCW: ‘No Chemical weapons at Barzah’

By Stephen — Christian Voice April 16, 2018

Syrian soldiers inspect the ruins of the Barzah research facility. Click to enlarge

Syrian soldiers inspect the ruins of the Barzah research facility. Click to enlarge

The UK, US and France bombed the Barzah research site near Damascus in Syria knowing full well it had no chemical weapons, it has emerged.

Christian Voice has uncovered a report from the Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).  It gave Barzah a comprehensive all-clear only last month.  Allied aircraft also targeted the Jamrayah (or ‘Jamraya’ or ‘Dummar’) site west of Damascus.  The facility was also cleared by OPCW.

Firstly, the report says the OPCW was satisfied Syria was destroying all its chemical weapons facilities.  Only two sites remained and they were being dealt with.  Secondly, it identifies the Barzah and Jamrayah sites by name.  Moreover, the Report declares both sites completely free of banned substances.

UK, US and French intelligence must have known about the Report.  So why did they bomb Barzah and Jamrayah?

As we went to press, Mrs May was about to defend her approach in the House of Commons.  But irrespective of when you read this, you can still email your MP.  Here is the link to the Parliament website.

OPCW Reported only three weeks ago

The OPCW published the Executive Council Report on 23rd March 2018. That was just three weeks before Friday night’s air strikes. The Report is openly published here.  We read at paragraph 6 (a):

‘The Secretariat has verified the destruction of 25 of the 27 chemical weapons production facilities (CWPFs) declared by the Syrian Arab Republic.’ It goes on. … ‘the Secretariat conducted an initial inspection of the last two stationary above-ground facilities.’

It concludes: ‘the Secretariat, together with the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), has been making all the required arrangements to assist the Syrian Arab Republic in the destruction of the facilities located at these two sites.’

No scheduled chemicals

Paragraph 11 says this:

’11. In accordance with paragraph 11 of Council decision EC-83/DEC.5, the second round of inspections at the Barzah and Jamrayah facilities of the SSRC was concluded on 22 November 2017. The results of the inspections were reported as an addendum (EC-87/DG.15/Add.1, dated 28 February 2018) to the report entitled “Status of Implementation of Executive Council Decision EC-83/DEC.5 (dated 11 November 2016)” (EC-87/DG.15, dated 23 February 2018). The analysis of samples taken during the inspections did not indicate the presence of scheduled chemicals in the samples, and the inspection team did not observe any activities inconsistent with obligations under the Convention during the second round of inspections at the Barzah and Jamrayah facilities.’

The Report concludes:

’17. The main focus of the future activities of the OPCW mission in the Syrian Arab Republic will be on the activities of the FFM and on the implementation of Council decisions EC-83/DEC.5 and EC-81/DEC.4, including declaration-related issues, as well as on the verification of the destruction of the two stationary above-ground facilities, and annual inspections of the underground structures already verified as destroyed.’

Barzah ‘developing cancer drugs’

Even worse, Sputnik News claims the Barzah scientific research center was ‘a pharmaceutical facility used to produce cancer drugs.’  It quotes the facility head (who is un-named):

“Since the Syria crisis broke out, the country has been short of all kinds of medicines due to the sanctions from Western countries. Foreign companies stopped exporting high-quality medicines to Syria, especially anti-cancer medicines. So we have been conducting researches on anti-cancer medicines here, and three cancer drugs have been developed,” the facility head said.

The man was interviewed on RT standing at the site in plain clothes.  “If there were chemical weapons in the building, we would not be here. My colleagues and I came here at 05:00 this morning. If there were chemical weapons, we would need to wear masks and take other protective measures to be staying here,” the man explained.

The US knew there were no chemical weapons at the site.  Have they instead destroyed an institution developing life-saving medicines?  Above all, medicines the Syrians are banned from importing?  that would be a cruel and cynical blow.

No alternative to Bashar al-Assad

In an editorial, the Independent criticises the strikes.  It quotes Patrick Cockburn.  Mr Cockburn is an experienced reporter and commentator on the Middle East.  He argues the only realistic rulers of Syria are Bashar al-Assad or the various al-Qaeda clones, such as Isis and al-Nusra.

The editorial says: ‘Any serious attempt to weaken the Syrian leader, therefore, risks prolonging the agonies of the Syrian people – although he writes today that these strikes were more of a “gesture” than an attempt to damage Mr Assad’s military machine.

And we repeat, it is President Assad and his Russian allies who have defended Syria’s Christians.  If the UK had had its way, jihadists would be in charge of Syria.  Naturally, in that event, the Christians of Syria would be history.   Se we thank God for president Assad.  And we thank God for the Russians.  Through them, the Lord has preserved the life and liberty of our brothers and sisters.

Public opposed to strikes

In his blog, ex-UK-ambassador Craig Murray tears the UK’s attempt at a legal justification of its Syria strikes to shreds.  His analysis is backed up by Professor Dapo Akande.

Meanwhile, the Independent published the results of an opinion poll.  The exclusive survey showed more people opposed than supported the action.  Just 28 percent supported them, while 36 percent opposed.  26 percent neither opposed nor supported the strikes and 11 percent did not know.

YouGov research found an even stronger reaction. This was despite the majority of Britons (61%) thinking a chemical attack happened. Fewer than a quarter of Britons (22%) said they would support the attacks. Almost twice as many opposed them (43%).

General Mattis saved the day

So it now appears there was no justification for the strikes, particularly on Barzah and Jamrayah.  Even then, it could have been worse.

Julian Borger, writing in the Guardian, is among many thanking General Mattis for reining in his president.  The man known as ‘Mad Dog’ is a combat veteran.  Borger says: ‘Mattis fought hard to keep the airstrikes narrowly focused on the three alleged chemical weapons facilities.’

In 2004 Mattis ordered a strike on what turned out to be a wedding party in Mukaradeeb.  The ‘wedding party massacre’ killed 42 people.  Too many of our most bellicose politicians never served in the forces.  As a field commander, the General knows full well the horrors of war.

Also in the Guardian, Simon Tisdall agrees: ‘It was Jim Mattis who saved the day.’  He ‘stood up to a Donald Trump baying for blood.’  Mr Trump’s new security advisor, John Bolton, may want to strike at Iran.  Nevertheless, Tisdall says: ‘Mattis told Trump, in effect, that the third world war was not going to start on his watch.

‘The US was attacking Syria’s chemical weapons capabilities, he said. That, nothing more or less, was what the air strikes were about.’

Peter Hitchens: ‘Any fool can kill a man’

Peter Hitchens said, in his Mail on Sunday blog:

‘No doubt there are times when we must fight. But there are plenty more when we should not.

‘Any fool can kill a man in a second and ruin a city in a week. But it takes long years of nurture to raise a child to adulthood, and centuries to build a civilisation.

‘Yet I look around me and see the mouths of intelligent people opened wide, yelling for an attack on Syria when the only certain outcome of that will be blood and screams and ruins, and the deaths of innocents in ‘collateral damage’. What good will this do?

‘What is wrong with them? They are not cruel and stupid, yet they call for actions which are both.

‘Haven’t we got enough misery in Syria already? The place is a mass of ruins, graveyards and refugee camps. To what end? The only mercy for Syria will come when the war ends, yet we seek to widen and extend it.’