Syria’s Foreign Ministry Saturday said that the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)’s report holding the Syrian government responsible for the 2018 Douma attacks was unfounded.
The report, released Friday, investigated a chlorine gas attack on April 7, 2018, in Douma, Syria which killed 43 people. The OPCW’s report contends that its nearly two-year investigation observed “reasonable grounds” to conclude that the Syrian Air Force was responsible for the attacks. According to the report, at least one Mi-8/17 helicopter dropped two gas cylinders on residential buildings in central areas of the city. The Douma attacks triggered missile strikes against Syrian government targets by the US, UK and France.
The findings were based on various biomedical and environmental samples, forensic analysis and 66 witness statements. Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad accused the US, UK and France of “staging” the Douma attacks with the Syria Civil Defence and asked the forces to leave the country to stop the prolonged bloodshed. He also called the attacks a “lie” and said that they “did not take place.” Syria Civil Defense responded with proof of chemical gas canisters.
Syria’s Saturday statement rejected the OPCW report and stated that it ignored “objective observations” from state authorities and other experts. The government asked all UN and OPCW countries to realise that Western countries like the US use the OPCW as a political tool to justify future attacks on Syria and achieve their political goals. Syria continues to maintain that the attacks were false and staged.