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Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Re-Considering the IIT's Nine Unsolved CW Cases

"...to identify the origin," huh?
November 19, 2019

rough, incomplete, with running/strolling updates to... Dec. 11

IIT = Investigation and Identification Team, the latest joint venture of the OPCW meant, basically, to add blame-placing powers lacking since the UN-OPCW's Joint Investigative Mechanism was allowed to expire in 2017 over its controversial record of blaming Damascus for everything possible, regardless of the evidence, notably with the April, 2017 Khan Sheikhoun incident.

"The IIT mandate, limited to incidents within the Syrian Arab Republic for which the FFM has determined the use or likely use of chemical weapons and for which the JIM has not reached a conclusion on attribution, is further to be considered within the context of the universal condemnation of the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic, and international efforts to identify the origin of such weapons and those responsible for their use, with the aim of holding them accountable. ..."

At least these 9 incidents are decided on to try and pin the blame now, after being unable to previously, for a mix of reasons to be considered - here in reverse of the given order, so starting with the most recent/relevant (this helps a bit with priority-setting - the low priority one FOR NOW is at the top, etc...):

9. Douma, 7 April 2018
8. Saraqib, 4 February 2018
7. Ltamenah, 30 March 2017
6. Ltamenah, 25 March 2017
5. Ltamenah, 24 March 2017
4. Marea, 1 September 2015
3. Al-Tamanah, 18 April 2014
2. Kafr-Zita, 18 April 2014
1. Al-Tamanah, 12 April 2014

They also were careful to explain:
"Before reaching a conclusion, the IIT shall duly take into account all available information, including that provided by the Syrian Arab Republic as well as by others, on the hypotheses and scenarios considered by the IIT. In fulfilment of its mandate, the IIT may collect and analyse information and materials from any relevant source in addition to those already obtained by the FFM, also in order to determine the relevance, probative value, and reliability of the information, as well as the credibility of the source."

Okay then. in-progress list of points for each and sources...

9. Douma, 7 April 2018
- http://libyancivilwar.blogspot.com/2018/04/alleged-chemical-attack-in-douma-april.html
- Etc. and emphasis on the ones NOT covered in-depth yet ...
- There will be a bullet-point list for Douma with links, and an awesome one, but no new work is needed, so no rush.

- We understand the IIT was given a copy of the Ian Henderson engineering sub-team report. We deduce that it was only given AFTER the efforts to completely silence it failed, with the report's leak to the general public in May, 2019. A simple question we'll be watching for an answer to: was it submitted earlier than this, or only later? Other questions include: will they actually consider that suppressed engineering study, and if so, how fairly?

8. Saraqib, 4 February 2018
Major issues (in progress)
* Implausibility of mixing sarin and chlorine (the sarin would be weakened or destroyed, and the breakdown products would probably be different than what was found)
* Inconsistent symptoms (miosis noted but absent, eye irritation noted but lacking, "odd behavior" instead of paralysis, no SLUDGE syndrome)
* Militant victims passed off as civilians (at least one and probably all were wearing camouflage fatigues before they were stripped down for the videos)
* Others locals claiming an attack seem related to those militants (2 locals not in the shelter are heard from; one is an apparent father of a shelter victim, and the other is a possible brother of his, judging by their given names)
* Spread A - not to the victims (their given location is perpendicular to the gas spread as evidenced by the areas of bleached grass)
* Spread B - to a lot of non-victims we haven't heard from (except those couple who seem related to the militants)
* Unexplained means of sarin dispersal (it would have to be stored and released separately to work at all, and as usual, this trick remains unexplained)
* Strange deformation of cylinders (an extremely even and total indentation of four circles in a cloverleaf pattern appears on both gas cylinders, and never before on any cylinders involved in any other attack)

Sorting post with general explanations: The Nonsense Gassing of Militants in Saraqeb

7. Ltamenah, 30 March 2017
- This needs a post soon.
- much known, needs pulling together

6. Ltamenah, 25 March 2017
Major issues (in progress):
* Sarin residues were found after the chlorine attack, at two of the impact points, which was poorly and belatedly explained not by the use of sarin-chlorine bombs, but by a sarin attack apparently concocted for the day before (see 24 March).
* Even medical activist Shajul Islam's sarin suspicions from that day failed to mention a 24-3 incident, and still ring suspect (there was no outward reason to know sarin was back or soon would be - he likely knew of pending plots, and perhaps some kind of spill or issue at the hospital that might have been connected to those. It's likely that the mysterious concerns that drove him to drop these hints are the same one that later shaped the invention of a 24 March sarin incident. That might also have fed into other dropped claims of sarin attacks in that time and area, and maybe even the actual staging of a big claimed event on the 30th. But generally, setting the stage for the big event planned for Khan Sheikhoun is the clearest reason for the latter, especially - some clear and public sarin claims would be needed to prime the audience.)
* Poor comparison w/Douma chlorine incident, 2018 (most people "escaped immediately" and survive vs. 35+ people drop dead or paralyzed on the spot, hardly anyone escapes)
* Narrative discrepanies on time of attack, number + kind of bombs, number of medical assistants seriously affected
* Dubious story to explain the 3 deaths (surgeon, patient, first responder). Even if it was life-saving and urgent (unclear - an orthopedic surgeon's work usually should not be that crucial), it makes no sense they would try and perform through exposure to likely fatal levels of chlorine. It's not just questionable, but borderline absurd.)
* A militant commander of Jaysh al-Izza is also said to have been killed, perhaps by the cylinder that hit an apparent militant van. This might explain the "first responder" death; a burned van in a hospital attack could be taken as a "White Helmets" van, and the militant could be passed off as one of their rescuers. In the end, neither of these stories was clearly explained, underlining how they might be so related as to be the same story in two versions, where the FFM wound up accepting the version that seems less credible.
* Compound confusion over the four Chlorine cylinders
** Some claim two were dropped or even just one, but the FFM concluded 4 were dropped, 1 crashing into the hospital and 3 "falling to the ground" outside
** Impact 1 is somewhat dubious, penetrating app. one meter of soil plus reinforced concrete to enter the hospital entrance, perhaps suggesting fakery (important if wrong, but so far that seems uncertain - the damage is arguably consistent with a real impact after a fall, which could have started with a drop or a surface launch, depending who actually did it)
** Impact 2 has clashing stories (chlorine vs. explosive bomb), is perhaps never shown, and had higher sarin traces than usual despite being well outside the hospital (the FFM seems to answer this with the outside wash-down of sarin victims on 24-3, but that raises the question of why a chlorine bomb was dropped right in that same mud the following day.)
** Two seen outdoors imapacts and 2 cylinders are seen in various images
*** one appears to have impacted hard earth roughly nose-first and ruptured
*** one crashed into a van that burned, might explain first responder death
** A third outside impact is unseen, or it crashed inside, or was brought inside and set on rubble to look that way, or an image was misatributed AND one cylinder and one alleged impact remain unseen
** An unexplained tube axle with tiny wheels was found with just one of the four cylinders, the one that impacted the van (the exact issue to highlight with this is still under review - it's complicated)

- sorting post: https://libyancivilwar.blogspot.com/2019/11/more-on-alleged-chlorine-attack-of-25.html

5. Ltamenah, 24 March 2017
Major issues (in progress):
- Complete lack of contemporaneous reports - and even reports clearly implying there was no such event - suggest the event was only concocted later, perhaps just for OPCW FFM inspectors (first mentions came via interviews that began about the time the samples from 25-3 were handed over)
- Sarin and sarin breakdown products were found, would make no sense after a chlorine attack as reported - this problem might explain the seemingly concocted explanation, that seemingly emerged at about the same time as the problem (certainly not prior to it).
- Active sarin being found at the newly-sampled 24-3 "attack sites" - after at least 313 days - suggests it was planted there long after the fact (just how long is a matter for some review).
- The incident poorly explains the 25-3 sarin findings: Residues strongest at the unseen + contested impact 2 50m to the NW (alleged washing site bombed the next day?), and on clothes (from Dr. Darwish and rescuers) and surgical tools that should have been washed-sterilized prior to the 25-3 event and subsequent sampling.
- weapon remnants are said to have been recovered, based on a video of the event, but neither the video nor the remnants have ever shown or described.
- strange victims: civilians living in caves and "several men" that are likely Islamist fighters (the main thing there is an underground militant base)
- Poorly-explained loss of supporting medical records ("due to damage" from the 25-3 chlorine attack, somehow)
- Described symptoms seem like an arbitrarily-adjusted copy of those from 30 March (or vice-versa) (both have 16 cases all sharing 4 symptoms, with one set dropping "agitation" (even though it's described for "all" patients on 24-3 and should be included), vs. the other set giving zero with "cough" (even though that's also described for 30-3 patients and should be included))
- Considering the above, it might matter that the 2-bomb pattern looks perhaps exactly the same as for 30-3 (as given to FFM, and/or verified by images), just shifted 470 meters north (heading 348/168) The pattern: explosive bomb lands ~120-150m SSE of sarin bomb, heading 165-172, a bit downhill of one or another entrance to the cave base, maybe hoping the wind blows well uphill. Considering inexact locations in the 24-3 case, the pattern might be exactly the same, coordinates just shifted.
- sorting post: https://libyancivilwar.blogspot.com/2019/11/sneaking-in-sarin-allegations-24-march.html

4. Marea, 1 September 2015
- Islamists are blamed here, the only ones that can be - ISIS-Daesh, basically the official only bad guy on the opposition side. I see no reason to doubt the claims. No review planned by me.
- Anyone else with issues to raise on this event (or related enough to it) could drop comments at this post. So far just this and incident 1 may not have external posts.

3. Al-Tamanah, 18 April 2014 
Major issues:
- Displaced family of 4 is killed - a pattern in this span and area, perhaps suggesting those killed were kidnapped civilians, perhaps Alawites from Ma'an kidnapped in February, but with otherwise fabricated identities.
- Extremely vague supporting details - no known or mentioned visuals of the munition or impact
- Was omitted from 2016 report, along with other events that seem to remain omitted from the process.
- Other Tamanah attacks were found to be plagued with accusations and signs of staging, etc. For two other cases in the report omitting this one, it was explained: "There is scarce relevant information about all incidents in Al-Tamanah. No flight movements could be established by the Mechanism." Then both of those subjects were formally dropped, so there will be no IIT review either.
- Sorting: https://libyancivilwar.blogspot.com/2019/11/opcw-trying-to-figure-out-18-april-2014.html

2. Kafr-Zita, 18 April 2014
Major issues:
- site 2 with claimed chlorine bomb and given location: crater was most likely caused by surface-fired weapon
- chlorine bomb not seen in situ, could not be linked to that crater
- the detonation cord on that is intact, suggesting it never detonated, yet the valve assembly is missing prior to the filmed disarming
- withheld details site 1 near hospital, no information or images on that munition
- strange hospital scene suggests massive chemical release nearby, beyond what one chlorine cylinder could cause, possible al-Nusra involvement
- medical effects extremely vague: 30-100 said affected - suffocation, no other details - Kafr Zita symptoms tend to include a lot of unconsciousness and vomiting for simple chlorine.
- supp. evidence for gov. claims of airstrikes wrongly denied on up to three satellite-verifiable points (2 shown here: alleged firing spots (and thus direction if fire) and where fresh damage did appear)

Sorting: https://libyancivilwar.blogspot.com/2019/11/opcw-trying-to-figure-out-18-april-2014.html

1. Al-Tamanah, 12 April 2014
Limited info, can be covered right here
- extreme vagueness - no munition seen, almost no details
- slips from reporting for years with no explanation

S/1230/2014 gives a list of five alleged incidents in al-Tamanah, in table 4. The first is this one on 12 April. This give 22:45 as time of attack, which was at "residential house." The gas is said to have 25 people seek medical care, and cause no one to die.

S/1230 gives (para. 5.31) a generalized "description of all of the incidents" in al-Tamanah - the overall pattern as people "recalled" - with only sporadic date-specific details. None connects to this event. TABLE 6: CHRONOLOGICAL LISTING OF ATTACKS WITH BARREL BOMBS CONTAINING TOXIC CHEMICALS THAT COULD BE RECALLED AND CONFIRMED BY MORE THAN ONE INTERVIEWEE somehow doesn't include that one. But that might be a simple error. The FFM considered one related bit of video proof I haven't seen: "Video M2U00331: The video shows the impact point of a barrel bomb at Al Tamanah village on 12 April 2014." And that's all there is.

So there's said to be video of the weapon remains. "Syrian Archive" with the valuable database  of chemical attack reports and videos has an entry for this one. A link that should work but might not:
Otherwise, one has to scroll to the incident link to see what they have for "TAM120414, Chemical attack on Al Tamanaa, Idlib on 12 April 2014." Zero posted videos (Observations) - that's a bit unusual, but not unheard of. But they note it was "included in published reports on chemical weapons attacks created by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs" and conclude "a chemical weapons attack appears to have occurred in ِAl Tamanaa in Idlib. One video of this incident posted on Facebook shows victims of a chemical weapons attack being treated in a medical facility called Haneen." And they link to that. "20 people were affected as a result of this attack. The videos seem to indicate that whoever uploaded the video thought it was a chlorine attack."

The post just says "Medical point of the hanin charity association _ some of the cases that were ambulance at the hanin medical association in tamanaah after being bombed with chlorine gas on 12\04\2014 at 10:30 pm. As a result of the blow, more than \ 20 / people were injured, an ambulance / 18 / cases at the Hanin Association clinic and the serious cases were transferred..."

The video: A shirtless fighter gets an injection in his right arm, then seeming bored with treatment, retrieves his shirt and leaves. Just then an agitated wiggly man is brought in urgently, laid in the same bad, and splashed with soda pop. A heavyset woman is treated, prepared for an injection in her left arm. Others are outside, maybe. The cameraman goes outside and it's too dark to see much.

After listing in S/1230/2014 as one of five attacks in Al-Tamanah, this event - along with 18 April AND 22 May in Al-Tamanah (the two incidents with fatalities - 4 each) were left out of the FFM's next relevant report - S/2016/738, from … 2016. The list of those incidents then being considered just skipped all three of these, with no explanation. Just two of the five al-Tamanah incidents were mentioned, both as problematic, and both were formally dropped for good as "inconclusive" just days after that report. So from 2016 it stood at no clarity for attacks in this town, 0 for 5. Two dropped with given reason, three without. But now it's been decided to revive two of the three ignored cases - this one and 18 April (case 3, above)

The cases they're not considering
These nine incidents clearly are just a sliver of the hundreds of alleged CW attacks by both/all sides in the conflict in Syria since early 2012. I'm not exactly sure why all events prior to 2014 have to be left alone, but it sure is convenient for people who want to keep all blame on Damascus and none on the non-ISIS opposition.

It's mentioned in some reports the IIT seeks to resolve an injustice in the Russian plot to destroy the UN-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM), following the JIM's controversial handling of the Khan Sheikhoun investigation.. The vote not to renew the JIM's mandate left the OPCW and it's Syria-centered FFM able to investigate, but unable to place blame. They could bend over ten directions at once to indicate the regime was to blame, but lamentably, they couldn't come out and say it.

Then there are those incidents over the years blamed on opposition forces and terrorist groups, often targeting Syrian troops and allied forces, and sometimes civilians (especially of the Alawi and Shia faiths) with a variety of toxic agents from chlorine to sarin and at least a couple unknown others. These have sometimes been investigated by the OPCW, but generally dismissed or sidelined as irrelevant by any means available, and (almost) never publicized in news stories.

Among the opposition-lodged accusations of regime gas attacks of the sort the FFM, JIM, etc. are "supposed to look at," there are some never hear enough about or never start a probe over. Then there are some they do note and investigate up to a point, but then just stop mentioning, even in big lists of  outstanding cases (but then sometimes these are revived later - 2 such are on the IIT's list).

Lately, this unexplained omission of some events seems to include all 2015 attacks that were blamed on Assad OR non-ISIS opposition (the ISIS track needs a few events for "balance", and they'll be largely in 2015, so Marea is included, as others have been - that one hit some hitch first time around?). In fact, the gap in coverage - reflected in many sources, like this widely-circulated UN CoI infographic - runs from the end of April, 2014 to early April of 2016. That nearly two-year gap includes the May, 2014 cases mentioned here as dropped, but excludes the two that the IIT has revived - those are both in April. A third dropped case (at least) was in May, and still floats in limbo. Why? 

There are a few case - at least three - the Joint Investigative Mechanism had deemed "inconclusive" - they heard too much "contradictory" information, so there would be no further investigation ever. We could bet that means too much good evidence blaming the terrorists, not enough blaming the government, or too much of that turned out to be obviously fake. They'd rather leave those knots half-tangled.

For reference, those events they dropped, as announced in late August 2016, were Kafr Zita 11 April, 2014, and two Al-Tamanah incidents: 29/30 April and 25/26 May, also of 2014. (It was right after this that all May attacks would vanish into that big blank span, limiting the need for such special maneuvers over any others that seemed too "inconclusive.")

And there are those already successfully blamed on someone during the JIM's duration that the IIT sees no need to review. Of course these were almost all pinned on Damascus, a few on ISIS, and none on anyone else. There are no attacks previously blamed by the JIM on non-ISIS opposition for the IIT to hear repeals over, or else the JIM might still exist. Any cases that threatened to go that way, apparently, were deemed "inconclusive" instead, and the JIM lost its mandate.

Khan Sheikhoun in 2017, the first incident to spark Trump-led missile attack on Syria, is a great example, with some rather egregious lapses of investigative ethics required to blame a government jet for that bizarre sarin attack. Some incidents related to that in time and space only came up a bit later, so the JIM was unable to issue blame. We'll try and help them get it right on the March 30, March 25, nd March 24, 2017, alleged sarin and chlorine incidents, all in nearby Al-Latamnah.

Another example closer to the oldest entries here is TalMines (Talmenes, etc.) on 21 April, 2014. Of two attack scenes, the FFM had to admit one looked fake and "excluded" it from analysis. Someone trying to fool them is just "excluded," not counted in like it should be. The other scene was for sure by a regime chlorine barrel bomb fell from a helicopter straight above and caused this damage, flattening half a house, lodging in the rubble near what seems to be its south edge (that's the scene below).
It was definitely not what the government claimed: an explosive rocket fired by terrorists in Maar Shamarin, about 3 km to the S-SW. Video screen-grab composite view: damage with that alleged firing direction roughly indicted (deduced as app. SW from compared solar angles in 2 videos). This is after some cleanup, the bomb casing and curved cylinder moved, some rubble piled up, wires cut, etc. Below, a version of the same based on a "witness" sketch of the scene. This is what the better half of a closed case looks like sometimes, so don't be too impressed.

General Issues
Not every cause for doubt arises from the details of one of these nine incidents. But there are so many general issues to consider, the best course here is to consider patterns that clearly relate to these incidents under study.

Attacks on OPCW/FFM investigators and/or Security:
Who tries to thug away the truth here?

* Kafr Zita, May 2014: Militants attack and arrest FFM investigation team near Kafr Zita, apparently to prevent an investigation of their false-flag capabilities there; they reportedly had the addresses for the chemical warehouse and the place the terrorists made their barrel bombs, as used on 19 May, according to information Damascus claimed to have. The team were released from detention later that day and returned to Damascus, unharmed but empty-handed.
** https://libyancivilwar.blogspot.com/2018/12/2014-chlorine-attacks-and-opcws-loss-of.html
** This was on the FFM's very first visit to Syria, having just been created. They were on their way to a first-ever site inspection that was prevented. They decided right away to never go into "moderate rebel" territory again, and so until Douma in 2018, when the government ran security at the site, the FFM had never inspected on site, and let the White Helmets and other proxies run the on-site portions for them.
** The incidents of 19 and 21 May they were going to investigate were later dropped with no explanation as if they never existed (same link).

* An August, 2013 sniper attack on OPCW investigators at Moadamiya was never clearly blamed on anyone. It was said to be regime snipers hoping to delay them longer, maybe trying to clean up the scene of sarin traces from their 21 August attack (which doesn't seem very possible, by the way). And when investigators got there, there was no sarin in the environmental samples, but near 100% returns of likely token doses in the pre-screened alleged survivors. No one tested the fatalities before burial, but the visuals suggest most or all of them died from a mix of poisons other than sarin. The regime set that all up with its sniper delay?
** https://libyancivilwar.blogspot.com/2014/11/the-ghouta-massacres-sarin-myth.html
** https://libyancivilwar.blogspot.com/2017/10/sarin-faking-in-syria.html

* 2018 Douma - a FFM site visit actually made sense and was tried again. But an overly-rushed advance security team visit on 17 April was met with a "hostile crowd" and then came under attack with guns and a grenade, leading to a reported 2 deaths (presumably among the attackers?) and a Syrian officer wounded (reported details vary, but those seem to be the best). This delayed work for a few days as UN security UNDSS worked out safer routes, and the regime and Russians were blamed for delaying, maybe trying to clean up the scene of sarin traces (which doesn't seem very possible, by the way). When the OPCW's people got there, of course no sarin was found, but they say chlorine was (and I still suspect it was, despite recent questions raised about that.) But that couldn't kill all those people, be it the 35+ we can see, the 42 they "verified," or the 187 that knowledgeable insiders claim died on the night of 7 April. And no one tested the fatalities before burial. The regime set that all up with its false-flag "sleeper cell" attack?
** https://libyancivilwar.blogspot.com/2018/07/swept-under-rug-part-1.html

Those incidents - their alternate versions - also constitute the record of alleged regime + Russian attacks on OPCW investigators (they were blamed by some for the 2013 and 2018 incidents). By this record, who do we think has attacked investigators and/or their security on at least these 3 occasions and why? Did the perpetrators intend to take credit for their own work, or keep it secret and blame someone else? Who would have that capability to sway perhaps even the OPCW? That's who would know it, and thus might try for such deception.

* ...

Sample collection
* HdBG + Dr. Ahmad: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/10796150/Syria-chemical-weapons-how-the-Telegraph-found-evidence-of-chlorine-and-ammonia-gas-bombs.html

False alerts
- https://twitter.com/Qoppa999/status/1196517169783361536

Frequent explosive events passed off as chlorine attacks
just from videos with the flash, etc.
* Kafr Zita 11 April
** https://twitter.com/MichaKobs/status/1196499494852055040
** https://twitter.com/MichaKobs/status/1196495923515396098
* KZ 12 April

Where it's suggested by the impact damage:
- Telmines 21 April, loc. 1 (not on IIT list, SyGov. already blamed, despite noting this scene appeared fake)
- Telmines 21 April, loc. 2 (not on IIT list, SyGov. already blamed, based on )
- Kafr Zita, 18 April, loc. ? (on IIT list, damage issues played into lack of clarity )
- 29/30 April (dropped prior to IIT review, in mid-2016) "The Leadership Panel determined that there was insufficient information" to - basically - blame Damascus for gassing innocents. There were clashing narratives of what happened, and the chlorine impact point one story relied on  "has been considered by experts to stem from an attack with conventional munitions." That was the narrative they hoped to prove but couldn't, and rather than risk proving the other narrative, they stopped digging.

- 11-4 Kafr Zita, also dismissed in 2016 as "inconclusive" had all-around bad results, with three locations considered. Location #1: No one could "confirm that the remnants in the pictures had been removed from the crater at location #1. The munition could not be linked to the impact location and crater through image analysis either." Credible accounts and the huge blast plume afterward supported the use of powerful explosives, not a quiet CW weapon. Location #2: A video "v01" was said to show the blast al Location #1 but analysis suggested it did not. So the JIM identified a new Loc. 2. "The explosion in v01 shows a yellow base of the explosion. According to a forensic examination, the cloud is resulting from the detonation of an “oxygen-deficient military high explosive type (e.g. TNT)” causing a dark cloud. The yellow colour in the base of the cloud is judged to be dust. According to the Mechanism’s and independent weapon experts, the explosions seem to result from “advanced military munition with a primary detonation and delayed sub-detonation”. The Experts DID NOT feel that yellow suggested chlorine, as many pro-regime-change hacktivists had claimed! The dust might be related though, packed into the bomb or the chosen target, to create a sort of color effect to support the claims. (if so, it worked). Location #3: In a whole other spot, a string of explosions goes off, and "a yellowish cloud emanates ... "The Mechanism’s munitions experts, in coherence with external independent experts and research institutes, concluded the impact probably resulted from conventional military munition, potentially combined with sub-munitions. ... The Mechanism could not exclude that the blast shown on the video originated from ground-based explosives." "The title and description of the video does not indicate any links to chemicals." But the color emergine kind of does, huh? An alleged connection, but not a real one. Furthermore, "One witness saw a helicopter drop a device ... (another) stated that “monitors informed that a helicopter was dropping barrel bombs” and that, looking from a window, the witness had seen a “barrel bomb coming down”. ... the Mechanism has not been able to independently corroborate by a means other than a witness statement that a helicopter was flying in Kafr Zita between 1900 and 2000 hours. … In the video, a sound resembling that of a jet fighter can be heard. ... The Government of the Syrian Arab Republic shared their analysis of v01, stating that it showed an air strike with conventional munition. V02, which seems to show the explosion at location #2 (seen in v01), also shows a helicopter. However, as the video appears to be cut between the images of the helicopter and the explosion, the helicopter cannot be linked to the explosion through this video." So there's one example of too fake for even the JIM to accept.
Unexplained symptoms and bomb ingredients
* ...

Fake Chlorine videos
* 16 April, 2014, Kafr Zita: video at Syrian Archive: "Night bombing on Kafr Zita with toxic chlorine barrel bombs" Froma great distance, a well-illuminated, high-floating, almost neon blue-green cloud of … DC2 was it, in that Planet Terror movie? Here zoomed in, natural color balance left, saturation + brightness increased.

* 23 Feb. 2015, Binnish - not as related to cases under study, but wow (from cover of a SAMS report). Plenty of later scenes like this in 2016, and there are the various yellow-orange high-rising clouds  … so from here, I'll try to stick with more relevant ones. 16 April, 2014 is not on the IIT's list, but it is right in the same days and area as two other incidents they're reviving, so it's worth considering.

Genral sources:
Just a couple to start:



  1. You ask why weren't other incidents covered? It's clear in the IIT mandate if you cared to read it. They're only able to investigate incidents already investigated by the FFM.

    1. I did not read that, but it makes sense. That would cover most uncovered cases. But there are those the FFM was looking at and then stopped talking about - as not, all non-ISIS incidents between May '14 and April '16. That still appears to have no explanation.

    2. A. you should probably have read the IITs mandate before commenting on it and questioning the way it does thing. Makes you look like a shill who's only writing with confirmation bias.
      B. The FFM and IIT are different organizations within the OPCW. What one does (the FFM) isn't relevant to the other (IIT) in terms of the questions you're asking about the IIT.

      C. Please be better/fully informed before wasting so much text on things you're clearly not well-informed on. Again, it shows a pre-existing bias which calls into question everything you do.

    3. Ok...
      A. So not being totally clear on mandates makes my work basically worthless, huh? Precludes any need to show anything wrong? Wow, that's handy for you. Good decision then. Actually ... it makes me look like someone who hasn't fully sorted out the mandate, but taking
      this chance. For now I'm just consulting the overviews here that might miss some of the nuance you must be steeped in: https://www.opcw.org/media-centre/featured-topics/syria-and-opcw

      B I'm asking why the IIT isn't reviewing some cases - one could point to the limits of their mandate, but then we could ask WHY that's their mandate - it could have been set up to review whatever. But let's skip that question and say it WAS set up to review:
      "those instances in which the FFM determines or has determined that (CW) use or likely use occurred, and cases for which the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism has not issued a report."

      So FFM determination is key to what IIT will look at, as is the JIM's not having issued a report (that would have included attribution). Inferred: FFM decided likely use, JIM was to use the 'likely' cases to figure whodunnit. But then that was allowed to expire due to its obnoxiousness, as the Russians et al. saw it, and hence the IIT.

      So "What one does (the FFM) isn't relevant to the other (IIT)" = false, as I thought. Thanks for getting me to double-check. The FFM is its own thing, but formed part of the JIM ("joint" - get it?) See: "The FFM’s findings were the basis for the work of the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM)"

      And as noted, their decisions narrow down what the IIT will consider. The FFM only was not part of the previous UN-OPCW Joint Mission active in 2013, before the FFM's creation. Otherwise, these things ARE all interconnected, though I might still get confused about just how...

      In context: I could stand to review whether any of the cases in the two-year dropped span had FFM finding of likely use, or if they had all avoided that, perhaps explaining their omission now.

      You act well informed, anon. Are you aware of any reason why the FFM started ignoring almost 2 years worth of allegations they had been looking into, thus it seems locking the IIT into ignoring them as well? If not, then we SHOULD agree this remains unexplained and worth asking about. But we probably still won't agree on that, will we?

      C Please keep trying to discourage honest research with baseless grandstanding. Hey, your grandstand collapsed. I'll take that scrap and use it.

    4. And then you knew FFM coverage limited what the IIT considers, so that wound up a pointless exercise and what was your gripe again?

      Also, they themselves stated an intent to look into the nine cases listed. The main point of this exercise was to re-consider those, and that's largely done. You okay with those raised issues? (noting we haven't even got to Douma yet, at this post, nor to 30-3 Latamnah).


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