OPCW Defends Syria Attack Conclusions After Document Leaks

The head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons this week publicly defended the agency’s conclusion that poison was used in a high profile attack in Syria last year, after leaked documents published on Wikileaks suggested two former employees doubted some of its findings.

OPCW chief Fernandon Arias said the body stands by the findings it published in March this year concluding that a toxic chemical containing chlorine was used in an attack resulting in 40 deaths.

“While some of these diverging views continue to circulate in certain public discussion forums, I would like to reiterate that I stand by the independent, professional conclusions” of the report, he told delegates on Monday at the Twenty-Fourth Conference of the States Parties (CSP) which oversees the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).

Read the full story at Thomson-Reuters.

Emails And Reading Comprehension: OPCW Douma Coverage Misses Crucial Facts

Over the weekend, WikiLeaks released an email from an employee within the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) indicating that the OPCW “misrepresents the facts he and his colleagues discovered on the ground”. This email has since been used to call into question the impartiality and effectiveness of the OPCW’s conclusion about the alleged chemical weapon attack in Douma, Syria.

However, a comparison of the points raised in the letter against the final Douma report makes it amply clear that the OPCW not only addressed these points, but even changed the conclusion of an earlier report to reflect the concerns of said employee.

Read the full story at Bellingcat.

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