“The OPCW published on April 8 a report compiled by its Investigation and Identification Team (IIT), whilst Syria and a number of countries have described the team as illegitimate and unconventional,” the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates said in a statement carried by the country’s official news agency SANA on Thursday.
The ministry noted that the report contains fake and fabricated conclusions, and is aimed at falsifying facts and accusing Syrian government forces of using toxic materials in Lataminah town back in March 2017.
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It further highlighted that the report relied on sources prepared and fabricated by the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham Takfiri terrorist group, formerly known as the al-Nusra Front, and the so-called civil defense group, White Helmets, under the instructions of their masters in the United States, Turkey and other Western countries.
“Syria categorically denies the use of toxic materials in Lataminah or any part of the country. It reiterates that the Syrian Arab Army has never used such weapons in the course of fierce battles against terrorist groups,” the ministry pointed out.
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The Syrian foreign ministry finally compared the OPCW’s latest report with the one on the alleged use of chemical weapons in the city of Douma, located about 10 kilometers northeast of the capital Damascus, noting that the present publication is another “disgrace” for the organization.
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On April 14, 2018, the United States, Britain and France carried out a string of airstrikes against Syria over the suspected chemical weapons attack on Douma.
Washington and its allies blamed Damascus for the Douma attack, an allegation rejected by the Syrian government.
The OPCW launched an inspection into that incident and announced in a report in March last year that a “toxic chemical” containing chlorine was used in clashes between the Syrian military and anti-government militants in Douma on April 7, 2018.
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That report, however, turned out to have been largely whitewashed in favor of the anti-Damascus militants.
Ian Henderson, a former OPCW inspector in the Douma probe team, told the UN Security Council earlier this year that the account the watchdog had issued on the matter ran contrary to the findings of its own fact-finding mission.
Syria surrendered its stockpile of chemical weapons in 2014 to a joint mission led by the United States and the OPCW, which oversaw the destruction of the weaponry. It has also consistently denied using chemical weapons.