Alwaght- On April 7, claims of a chemical attack in Duma in the outskirts of the Syrian capital Damascus made global news headlines. The world media showed images of the allegedly affected civilians carried to the local hospitals to receive treatment.
As initial reactions to the allegations of use of chemical weapons in Eastern Ghouta region, the Western capitals fast pointed the fingers of blame at the Syrian government led by President Bashar al-Assad, though the Westerners had no concrete evidence of the Syrian involvement, except for a couple of field images of the rushing scenes not very well portraying a chemical assault.
From the initial hours, a propaganda campaign was launched by the Western governments and media and their regional allies to highlight an attack whose veracity was not yet substantiated by the international organizations responsible for the job. This came while days before the claims of the poisonous gas use, the Russian ministry of defense had warned that Jaysh al-Islam and Free Syrian Army militant groups, both controlling the capital’s suburbs at the time, could attack Duma with nerve agents and pin the blame on the central government in a bid to provoke international reactions that could help ease the pressure on them caused by Damascus fire power.
Both the government and the militias saw it strategic to control Duma. The Arab Syrian Army drove the terrorists out of Duma, their last stronghold in the capital’s suburbs, to eliminate the militant groups’ ability to target Damascus. On the other side, the militants needed to save Duma and Eastern Ghouta as a whole to penetrate to the capital and so disturb the army anti-terror fight’s focus in other areas. But the army advances in the days toward the claimed chemical attack, including the destroying the terrorist military infrastructure by the intelligence help of the locals, hit the last hopes of the militiamen in the battle for Duma.
Only a week after the news of the poisonous attack, the US, France, and Britain’s fighter jets struck the Syrian government’s positions. The trio’s air raids hit three government sites, including a civilian research center and also a once-chemical-storehouse of the army in Homs province. The Syrian air defenses responded, detecting and shooting down 71 of a total of 103 missiles fired at the targets, according to the Russian army’s Syria command.
The interesting point is that the Syrian airspace and sovereignty were violated several times by the main UN founders and the ostensible supporters of the international law in 2017. In early April last year, news of an attack in Khan Sheikhoun village in Idlib province hit the media headlines. Trump ordered airstrikes on Syria army’s Shayrat airbase before a UN committee could have time to finish an independent investigation into the incident. 59 Tomahawk missiles, fired from destroyers in the Mediterranean, struck the base from which Washington claimed the chemical attack was launched.
The Western allegations of Damascus chemicals weapons use came while the government forces scored triumphs in anti-terror battles. Having an upper hand, Damascus never needed to stimulate world reactions against itself by a chemical strike. That was beside the fact that Syria had destroyed its chemical weapons in 2013, something the UN verified. In June 2014, the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) officially reported that last load of Syrian chemical weapons was shipped out of the country under its supervision.
Three days after the trio’s offensive in reaction to Duma incident, Russians discovered a chemicals storehouse in the same town, which before the April 7 attack was under the terrorists’ control. The discovery triggered the theory that the attack was a terrorist-conducted false flag attack against the civilians.
On Friday, the OPCW’s Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) issued its report on Duma incident.
“The results show that no organophosphorus nerve agents or their degradation products were detected in the environmental samples or in the plasma samples taken from alleged casualties. Along with explosive residues, various chlorinated organic chemicals were found in samples from two sites, for which there is a full chain of custody. Work by the team to establish the significance of these results is on-going. The FFM team will continue its work to draw final conclusions,” the report read.
The report comes by an organization whose independence and neutrality has repeatedly been questioned by Russia and Iran. Still, the report shows that all of the attempts to forge anti-Syrian evidence have gone nowhere. The Western allies probably knew that Damascus is not the culprit of the incident. That is why they did not wait for the FFM probe’s report to come out. This leads to the notion that the Western military action was largely distractive, meant to provide a margin of safety to the terrorists who teetered on the brink of obliteration amid powerful army push.
Syria has suffered devastation as a result of an eight-year war imposed on the government by the foreign-backed terrorists. Still, the US, as a party with links to the anti-government militias, does not consider any plans to help reconstruct Syria, at least the areas destroyed by its raids or by its militant proxies. A report of the Department of State maintains that Syria reconstruction takes between $200 and $300 billion. Washington made it clear that it will not offer any aid as long as Russia and Iran, both game-changing backers of government, are present in the war-ravaged country. In late March, Trump put a hold on more than $200 million for Syria recovery.
The West and its allies hope to turn the tide to their advantage using various ways and mainly baseless excuses, including strengthening the terrorists, attacking army infrastructure, brokering deals for militants’ stay in southern border areas, and pressing for Iran and Hezbollah withdrawal.