West helped Nusra, ISIS obtain chemical weapons: Syrian FM
Western efforts to provide Al-Qaeda affiliated groups with chemical weapons were part of the broader war of terror against the Syrian people, Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad claimed
By News Desk - February 28 2023

Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad (Photo Credit: Majid Asgaripour/WANA)

Syrian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Faisal Mekdad, claimed at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva on 28 February that “well-known countries had used weapons of terrorism against the Syrian people,” in violation of the United Nations charter and their international obligations.

Foreign Minister Mekdad stated in a video address to the conference that, “Syria faced an unjust war, during which well-known countries employed weapons of terrorism against the Syrian people, sent tens of thousands of foreign terrorists, and provided them with various types of support and weapons, including internationally prohibited ones, to serve their aggressive agendas.”

He added that the policies of these countries have led to terrorist organizations such as ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra obtaining chemical weapons and using them repeatedly against Syrians, which highlights the need to address the shortcomings in international instruments governing the use of such weapons. Mekdad also called for joint action to find a politically neutral mechanism to coordinate international efforts to address acts of chemical terrorism.

Not only the Syrian government but independent sources have suggested that armed opposition groups supported by the US, Israel, Turkiye, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia used chemical weapons against the Syrian army and Syrian civilians during the conflict, which began in 2011.

Carla del Ponte, a member of the UN’s Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic and a former war crimes prosecutor, gathered testimonies indicating that opposition armed groups used sarin gas against the Syrian army and civilians in the town of Khan al-Assal in March 2013.

Journalist Seymour Hersh reported that a classified US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) briefing in June 2013 indicated that Nusra maintained a sarin production cell and was attempting a large-scale production effort in Syria.

A report published by Rootclaim in 2021 showed that the Saudi-backed armed opposition group, Liwa al-Islam, launched the sarin-filled rockets used in the chemical attack in East Ghouta in August 2013.

A detailed report from the Libertarian Institute showed that the Ghouta attack was a false flag attack meant to trigger Western military intervention in Syria as part of the broader CIA program known as Timber Sycamore.

Foreign Minister Mekdad pointed out that Syria’s experience with the UN’s Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) showed that the watchdog group had become politicized and a tool of the Western powers to manufacture hostility toward the Syrian government.

Mekdad called on the states who are party to the OPCW to carry out a responsible and careful review of the work of the organization and to correct errors and clear violations of the provisions of the convention that governs the group.

As reported by journalist Aaron Mate, veteran OPCW inspectors provided evidence showing the Syrian government was not responsible for an alleged chemical attack in Douma in April 2018, but their probe was censored and manipulated by top OPCW officials. Under direct US government pressure, the OPCW concealed this evidence provided by its own inspectors and released a report that suggested the Syrian government was responsible for the attack.

Foreign Minister Mekdad also stressed that the Israeli occupation constitutes a source of permanent and serious threat to regional and international peace and security. In addition to launching repeated attacks on Syrian and Palestinian territories, it continues to modernize and expand its arsenal of all types of weapons of mass destruction.

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