Syria has been stripped of most of its rights at the global chemical weapons watchdog for alleged or fabricated breaches. The OPCW stands accused of suppressing facts reported by its own inspectors in Syria for political purposes.
The vote to penalize Syria took place on Wednesday at the conference of the states that are parties to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague.
Syria was punished for allegedly violating the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), of which the OCPW is the guardian, based on reports by the special Investigation and Identification Team (IIT).
The penalties were imposed at the proposal of France and backed by Western nations who helped pass it overwhelmingly by 87 to 15, with 25% abstentions out of 136 countries taking part.
The mechanism was created last year and was authorized to name perpetrators of chemical weapons attacks. It has on several occasions accused Syria of CWC infractions.
Damascus sees the IIT as a “propaganda tool” used by countries seeking to topple its government, and says its reports cannot be considered scientific, as a Syrian representative said at the conference prior to the vote.
The concern is shared by some other countries, including Russia and China. The Chinese representative reminded on Wednesday that the IIT has remarkably less rigorous standards for collecting evidence than the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) did.
The IIT, instead of conducting on-site investigations, gave credence to samples provided by the so-called ‘non-government organizations,’ heeded the opinions of the so-called ‘external experts’ and interviewed the so-called ‘witnesses in third countries.
Skepticism about the IIT and the OPCW in general has been growing among member states since 2019, when the organization was accused of covering up evidence discovered by its own inspectors after an incident in the Damascus suburb of Douma, which happened in April 2018.
The US regime, the Britain and France (*F-UK-US coalition) swiftly responded to the highly-publicized incident with retaliatory missile attacks against Syria.
As an OPCW state party, India expects the organization to conduct impartial, credible and objective investigation into any use of chemical weapons, in line with the convention principles, Indian envoy K. Nagaraj Naidu said. The current report falls short of these expectations.
India was among the countries that voted against the creation of the IIT, citing its concerns over ‘mandate creep’. It abstained in July 2020, when the OPCW Executive Council voted to condemn Syria for IIT-reported use of chemical weapons.
Syria joined the OPCW in 2013 and handed over massive stockpiles of chemical weapons, which were subsequently destroyed. However neighboring Israel, still has and uses chemical weapons at free will, not even mentioning the nuclear bombs they posses.
The move was taken after Washington said it was considering military action against Syria after an alleged chemical weapons attack. The OPCW received the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize for bringing Syria into the CWC fold.
RT. com / ABC Flash Point News 2021.