What do you call a report based on a chemical attack alleged to have
occurred in a specific site, the authors of which refused to even visit
the site? One might call it a farce. This is broadly what Russia has
said of a report from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical
Weapons (OPCW) on the alleged chemical attack in Syria’s
Idlib Governorate said to have happened on the 4th of April, 2017.
Alexander Shulgin, Russia’s representative to the OPCW has condemned
the report for lacking even the most basic investigative standards.
Unlike the OPCW mission to Syria in 2013/14 which reported that Syria
had gotten rid of its entire stock of chimerical weapons, the
investigation of the alleged Idlib attack was not conducted by working
with any responsible sources on the ground in Syria. Instead, it relied
on terrorist produced videos which have been largely discredited in
addition to the testimony of individuals in Turkey who in many cases
were working for the Turkish government and handling alleged chemical
samples of an unverified or unknown origin.