By Niloufer Bhagwat
30 September, 2017
‘The Security Council and the General Assembly have been establishing wholly illegal tribunals and mechanism.’
The allegations directed against the Syrian Arab Republic in the recent 28 August 2017 report of what is referred to as the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, with the word “Independent” emphasised to prevent any questioning of the report, reminds us of the infamous false allegations against Iraq prior to the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq, and the case against Libya by the Human Rights Council submitted to the General Assembly to suspend Libya, prior to bombings on Libya by coalition forces.
Those who perpetrated these infamous crimes were not indicted before the General Assembly on a report by the Human Rights Council nor were they subjected to any inquiry by an Independent International Commission of Inquiry or any mechanism established by the General Assembly.
The supreme international crime of waging wars of aggression which is really the source of all war crimes and crimes against humanity, collectively killing millions in the Middle East, across Asia, in Africa, and in EURASIA, is of no concern to those desperate to frame inconvenient leaders and their governments if they oppose the re-colonisation and occupation of their countries. Mercenary terrorist organisations have been used as an instrument in these wars sometimes as allies and interchangeably as enemies, wherever intervention and the positioning of US led NATO forces assisted by regional governments are necessary for restructuring of regions, or for regime change or to install in office proxy governments.
Never before has the United Nations and its organs and agencies been used in such a systematic manner in recent years, in particular the human rights bodies, to systematically frame leaders defending their countries, to create mechanisms or special ad hoc courts and tribunals either through the Security Council or the General Assembly, abhorrent to the rule of law by their selectivity and unequal treatment.
The Security Council and the General Assembly have been establishing wholly illegal tribunals and mechanism. It is necessary to state that a Resolution does not become legal merely because it has been passed by the Security Council or the General Assembly. Many such Resolutions are ultra vires of the UN Charter as these bodies do not have the powers to establish judicial organs.
The “endless war”, global war, declared in our lifetime with many military theatres, is a political and economic project for the world declared by the Project for the New American Century and its global alliance system, which had targeted the Arab homelands and Syria officially in 2001 as per public statements of former General Wesley Clark. Syria was targeted not because of chemical weapons, but because it was a resistance state in the region opposed to the colonial project of occupation. For several decades Syria had chemical weapons which it never used. The chemical weapons Convention of 31 August 1994, a Convention to prohibit the development, production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons and their destruction has established the Organisation for the prohibition of chemical weapons with a Technical Secretariat. The Technical Secretariat has an inspectorate unit to investigate the use of chemical weapons and identify its perpetrators, provided the investigation team is broad based. Human Rights bodies and Commissions are in no position without scientific and forensic evidence and on the ground investigations by technical experts to give us an opinion as to who the perpetrators are in the chemical attacks on the people in the Syrian Arab Republic. What we have on record from the very outset is propaganda.
The report that we are being asked to accept has not investigated the nature of munitions used or whether it was Sarin or a Sarin like substance. Admittedly, the ISIS/Daesh/Al Nusra Front and its front organisations have crude chemical weapons capability as per reports of the world’s most powerful Intelligence Agencies—the CIA and the MI 6 reported that this capability existed from 2013. The Syrian Arab Republic was earlier not a party to the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1994 and yet had no history of ever using chemical weapons against any country or within its borders. Immediately after the 9/11, Syrian Arab Republic was in the list of seven countries officially targeted by the US administration and was termed the “Axis of Evil”. To attack Syria and remove its government, a case was needed. This is where the narrative started—fake news of the Syrian government carrying out chemical attacks on its own people were manufactured, assisted by false flag incidents and staged attacks by terrorists, and followed by an aggressive coalition waging wars of aggression to seize resources in the region.
On 19 March 2013, the Syrian Arab Republic first requested the Organisation for the prohibition of chemical weapons to assist Syria in investigating an attack by terrorists armed with chemical weapons which had taken place in government controlled area of Khan al Assal. This area, in which there were Syrian soldiers and civilians, was struck by a rocket containing chemical agents similar to the nerve gas Sarin; 19 civilians and one soldier died in the attack. Terrorists associated with ISIS/Daesh/Al Nusra Front had carried out the chemical attacks. Local doctors confirmed the nature of the incident stating that Syrian soldiers were seen assisting civilians and rushing them for medical treatment.
Significantly, even as the OPCW was on this mission to Syria at the request of the Syrian government, two attacks took place at Ghouta, a densely populated suburb of Damascus under rebel control in the early hours of the morning on 21 August 2013. Estimates of people killed were approximately 1,338 and forensic reports significantly revealed that the chemical agent in the Khan al Assal attack and Ghouta were the same.
Immediately after the Ghouta attack, even though the OPCW technical teams were in the county on an official mission, and no government would attack its citizens with chemical weapons when an investigation was taking place, tendentious propaganda went viral that the government of Syria was using chemical weapons against its own people. It is forensic evidence which however finally exposed that the attack was carried out by terrorists as agent provocateurs in the area controlled by them, as the rockets used for the chemical attack had a very small range of about 3 kilometre and could not be fired from the government held territory on to Ghouta, considering the distance. Alarmed by such false flag operations to blame the government, Syria acceded to the Chemical Weapons Convention, a decision in which the Russian Federation played a vital role. On 14 September 2013, an International Agreement was signed by Russia, US and Syria that stipulated a time bound destruction of all chemical weapons.
The implementation plan of destroying all chemical weapons was worked out by the Syrian Arab government with the OPCW. On 6 October 2016, the OPCW inspection commenced and actual destruction began, with a deadline fixed for destruction of all chemical weapons by around mid 2014. But the terrorist mercenaries refused a ceasefire even for a limited period of nine months, to facilitate the work of the OPCW, indicating that they and the countries backing them were unhappy about this solution as it would be difficult thereafter to stage false flag attacks.
On 2 May 2014, 92.5% of Syrian chemical weapons were destroyed or shipped out for destruction, on ships of NATO countries. By 31 October 2014, the government of Syria had met the deadline and was free of chemical weapons. The State Department’s spokesman on 8 July 2014 stated that Syrian chemical stockpiles have “100 percent been removed”.
Despite that, we have another report of the alleged Independent International Inquiry Commission for Syria dated 28 August 2017 which falsely alleges that the Syrian government was responsible for the chemical attack on Khan Shaykhun on 4 April 2017. In this context, it would be relevant to state that several of Syria’s factories, including chlorine producing units in and around Aleppo and in other areas, were either dismantled or fell into the hands of terrorists when Aleppo among other towns and regions was overrun and occupied—that is before its recent liberation. Admittedly and significantly, the town where this attack is said to have taken place is controlled by terrorists of the most extreme kind.
The Independent Commission of Inquiry states that on or about 6.45 in the early hours of the morning on 4 April 2017 a Sukhoi aircraft used by the Syrian Air force fired three conventional bombs and one chemical bomb containing Sarin or Sarin like substance at Khan Shaykhoun. As a direct consequence of this chemical attack, 80 people were killed and 200 injured. The real issue is what weapon/projectile/munitions were used for the attack and by whom?
The evidence relied on by the Independent Commission is a superficial dent, not a crater, at the alleged site of impact and some kind of a pipe with caps at both ends. This was tampered with immediately as indicated by videos taken, with individuals without proper gas masks and protective suits in and around the area. As soon as the terrorists knew that inspectors would be coming they are alleged to have filled the site with cement, subsequently. It must be reiterated that Syria had destroyed or shipped out all of its chemical weapons duly certified by the OPCW. But this Independent Commission observes that the remains of the munitions at the site indicate that a Soviet made Khab 250 chemical bomb filled with Sarin was dropped at the site from the aircraft. The conclusion of the so called Independent Commission is not supported by any credible or trustworthy forensic evidence and in fact contradicted by the OPCW report which observes that there was no local aircraft alert in the early hours of the morning and that witnesses stated that it was after 11 30am that aircraft alert was sounded and that Syrian and Russian aircrafts were observed.
It is necessary to emphasise that no member of the Independent Commission has visited Khan Shaykhoun or any other site of the alleged chemical attack. Significantly terrorists from these areas in the days preceding the attack had on social media declared that they would be starting a campaign against chemical attacks and were ordering gas masks etc.
Since photographs of the alleged weapon used was widely broadcast by videos and photographs, once again Dr Theodore Postol, an expert in ballistic missiles, has in an open letter to US Intelligence Agencies on the White House Intelligence Report issued on 11 April 2017, asserted that the report is amateurish—the photographic and other evidence published does not provide any evidence that US has concrete knowledge that the government of Syria was the source of the chemical attack on 4 April 2017.
Professor Postol asserts that a main piece of evidence, the fragment of the improvised weapon indicates that the attack was executed by individuals on the ground and that there is every possibility that the source was likely tampered with or even staged. Professor Postaol exposes the nature of the so called weapon from the photographs and video displayed frame by frame, as “a crushed carcass of a cylindrical pipe (assuming that the crater and carcass were not staged) and that Sarin could have been dispersed on the ground by an improvised device made from a 122 mm section of rocket tube filled with Sarin and capped on both side… the pipe has a fractured seam and has been flattened into the so called crater by an explosive”. Dr Postol conclusively opines in his open letter that the US Intelligence report contains no evidence that the attack was the result of munitions being dropped from the Aircraft.
United Nations investigators learned from townspeople of Al-Tamanah about how the terrorists and activists had staged a chlorine gas attack in the night of 29-30 April 2014, and then sold the story to the western media hungry for fake news against President Assad’s government and even made false statements to UN investigators who stated in their report: The UN report states that “while people sought safety after warnings their homes were looted and rumours spread that the events were being staged, the witnesses came forward to contest widespread false media reports (UN Report).
Seymour Hersh has investigated and reported that in or about 20 June 2013, the analysts of the Defense Intelligence Agency issued a highly classified briefing for the Defense Intelligence Agency’s Deputy Director David Shield, which stated that al Nusra maintained a Sarin production cell. The report said that terrorists were attempting to obtain Sarin precursors in bulk, likely tens of kilograms for the anticipated large scale production in Syria. This has not been the subject matter for any Independent Commission of Inquiry.
There is no evidence whatsoever that the Syrian government forces have used chemical weapons. On the other hand there is prima facie evidence in terrorist controlled areas of the use of Sarin like substances and even Sarin to stage false flag.
It is astonishing that no human rights body or Independent Commission or human rights NGO such as Human Rights Watch among other organisations have found it necessary to refer to the e-mails of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton threatening President Assad and his family as a way to ensure that he steps down in favour of a proxy government. In the e-mails there is a statement to the effect that the best way to assist Israel is to bring down the regime of President Assad.
The truth is that a war of terror has been waged on the Syrian Arab Republic, its people and its head of state.
Prof. Niloufer Bhagwat was a judge in the International War Crimes Tribunal of Conscience on Syria, Iraq and Lebanon