Websites affiliated with international media agencies and institutions have published news about a report issued today by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons on the chemical weapons attack on Idlib countryside in 2018, using headlines suspicious of the Syrian regime's involvement in it.
DW website in its Arabic version dealt with the report issued today, Monday, April 12, by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in a news article titled: "Organization: The Syrian Army may have dropped a chlorine gas bomb on an opposition site," in which it said that "the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons concluded After conducting an investigation, the Syrian Air Force used chlorine gas - a chemical weapon - during an attack on the city of Saraqib in 2018.
The website of Radio Monte Carlo International in its Arabic version also dealt with the same report in a story published under the title "The Syrian Air Force may have dropped a chlorine bomb on the opposition-held Saraqib in 2018."
Several Arabic/Arabic-speaking websites have adopted similar addresses using the word "maybe" in news and reports that dealt with the information published by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons today, April 12, on its official website in English, a sample of which can be found in the claim's sources table at the end of the report.
Refute the claim
Verify-Sy reviewed the official website of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), and it was found that today, April 12, 2021, it published an English-language news item titled "The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons issues the second report of the Investigation and Identification Team." The news was subtitled. It says verbatim, "The implementing agency's identification team concluded that units of the Syrian Arab Air Force used chemical weapons in Saraqib on February 4, 2018."
During a review of the text of the news published by the international organization, it was found that it explicitly accused the Syrian regime of being behind the chemical attack, as its report concluded: "A military helicopter belonging to the so-called Tiger Forces in the Syrian regime's army was shot down at 09:22 in the morning of February 4 February 2018 At least one cylinder containing toxic chlorine east of Saraqib city in Idlib countryside, which led to the emission of the toxic substance over a large area and injuring 12 people.
The organization stated that its report - consisting of 65 pages published on its website in English - was based on interviews with people who were present in the relevant places at the time of the attack, in addition to analyzing samples and residues collected from accident sites, reviewing symptoms reported by victims and medical staff, and examining photo/graphs. Including satellite imagery and extensive expert advice.
The organization's report indicated that the "executing agency identification team" also obtained a topo/graphical analysis of the area in question and the method of gas distribution to confirm accounts from witnesses and victims.
During the process of research and review, the author of this article reviewed what was published by foreign websites about the report mentioned above - including the DW website in its English version - and it turned out that they dealt with the information in a story published today under the title "Syria used chemical weapons against civilians in 2018," which corresponds to what The report of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons concluded.
Fadel Abdel Ghani - founder and head of the Syrian Network for Human Rights and which participated in the investigation of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons - considered that the headlines that used the term "may" mislead, whether intended or not.
In a statement to Verify-Sy, Abdul-Ghani pointed out that the report clearly and explicitly accused the Syrian regime of using chlorine gas through a helicopter belonging to the "Tiger Forces" affiliated with the regime's army and backed by Russia, considering that the journalist who covers this type of news should be Familiar with the terminology used by international human rights organizations in their reports and investigations.
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons had confirmed in its first report through the "Implementing Agency Identification Team" on April 8, 2020, the occurrence of an attack with a chemical weapon in the city of (Al-Lataminah).
The Technical Secretariat of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons established the International Advisory Group to Address the Threat Resulting from the Use of Chemical Weapons on June 27, 2018.
In May 2018, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons confirmed the use of chemical weapons in the city of Saraqib, Idlib, and said in a report that the results of analyzing samples showed an “unusual” presence of chlorine gas, in addition to monitoring the symptoms that appeared on the injured confirming their exposure to toxic gases. Its investigation at that time determined the party responsible for the attack, in line with the international mandate given to it.
The chemical attack on Saraqib caused at least ten cases of suffocation, which necessitated the opening of a UN investigation into “war crimes” amid mutual accusations between Russia and the United States about who was responsible.
It should be noted that the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is an international organization that won the Nobel Peace Prize for the year 2013, based in the Dutch city "den haag" The Hague, and works to implement and implement the Treaty on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which is applied by the signatory and ratifying members.
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons report directly accused the Syrian regime of using chemical weapons in Idlib in 2018.
The organization confirmed that on that day, a military helicopter of the Syrian regime had dropped a cylinder containing toxic chlorine east of Saraqib city in Idlib countryside.
In its report, the organization based its report on interviews with people who were present in the relevant locations at the time of the attack, in addition to analyzing samples and debris collected from accident sites, reviewing symptoms reported by victims and medical staff, examining images, including satellite imagery, and extensive expert consultations.
This report was included in the "Misleading Headline" section, which includes news in which the title suggests a different content than the text, according to the "Verify-Sy Methodology".
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