Why Did USA, UK and France Conduct the April 14, 2018, Missile Strikes in Damascus Against the Barzah Scientific Research Facility that Was Inspected by OPCW in November 22, 2017 and Declared ‘Clear’?

U.S. DoD map with the three targets of the April 14 missile strikes

Chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana White told reporters (see the embedded video) that three targets were struck on April 14, 2018, at 9pm EST in Syria by French, British and U.S. forces (see the green dots on the map above). As usual and as per the old adage “In war, truth is the first casualty,” some things do not add up in both sides’ narratives. Let us start with the anti-NATO side.

The Attacked and Destroyed Barzah Center Is NOT located in Douma

satelite footage used by the U.S. DoD

Someone who is clearly aligned with the Assad regime tweeted the following about the above destruction in Syria on April 16:

As already noted by reporter, journalist and notable critic of intervention in Syria Eva Bartlett though, the OPCW team was scheduled to visit the site of the (alleged) chemical weapons attack from April 7 in Douma (“the very evening before chemical weapons inspectors of the OPCW were to visit Douma, America and allies launched illegal bombings against Syria”). This was also reported by Al Jazeera, for instance, and can also be gathered from the OPCW homepage (see here for a list of their earlier public reports on alleged or actual chemical weapon attacks in Syria).

It should also be noted that the recent April 16 OPCW Director-General’s statement makes no mention that their Douma fact finding mission (FFM) would have included a visit to the Barzah Center.

I questioned the OPCW about that point

but the OPCW have not replied yet (I will update this passage if I get a reply).

As can also be understood by a glance at the DoD map above, the attacked and destroyed Barzah Center is located to the west of the Douma chemical weapons attack site and NOT identical with it.

Mr. Fares Shehabi’s implied claim that the destruction of the Barzah Center does not allow the OPCW inspectors to do their work in Douma consequently does not add up: One can perhaps grant him that the OPCW inspectors would not have been safe during the time of the missile strikes. His claim that the missile strikes “destroyed” the site that OPCW is on a mission to inspect — i.e. the site in Douma — appears to be entirely false though. Mr. Shehabi consequently got called out for this misinformation by other Twitter users:

So much for uncovering what appears to be a piece and a likely source of pro-Assad propaganda. That, however, in no way entails that his opponents are innocent.

Western Propaganda: On How to Bomb an Already Cleared Site

Let us begin by taking a look at the differences in wording: According to the respective wikipedia entry and at least as of this moment

The Barzah scientific research centre, also known as the Barzah Scientific Research Facility,[1] was a facility of the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC or CERS) located in Barzeh, Damascus.

“Scienctific research centre” does not sound ominous enough though and destroying one is perhaps not particularly well-received by the public which has already had enough of Trump’s anti-intellectual and anti-scientific tendencies in other respects (e.g. climate change denial). As such and as done by the U.S. DoD, why not relabel the whole thing as a “research and development centre” — of course as in “of chemical weapons”? Makes the bombing so much easier to sell to the gullible parts of the public.

More importantly though and aside from these semantical manipulations of public opinion — why did NATO forces destroy a site that was inspected by the OPCW on November 22, 2017, and declared clear of chemical weapons in February and March 2018??

To make matters even worse, the U.S. admitted that they were still looking for evidence:

On April 12, even US Secretary of Defense James Mattis told the House Armed Services Committee that the US government does not have any evidence that sarin or chlorine was used, that he was still looking for evidence.

I consequently suspect that the genuine reasons for bombing were entirely different and of course entirely non-humanitarian ones, such as those that I mentioned in my previous article.

As for the genuine interests of the NATO-alligned block: Profit from the misery of others (“military industrial complex”), weakening and pushing back the influence of Russia and Iran, toppling Assad in order to build a pipeline or to make use of already granted extraction rights in Golan heights to Dick Cheney affiliated Genie Oil, widening their own influence (e.g. “Greater Israel”) and other such motives come to mind — and what they all have in common is that these actual motives are entirely unrelated to concern for human rights or human well-being of the local population.

So much for uncovering a piece of NATO-block propaganda that most Western mainstream media are not questioning but dutifully regurgiting.

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independent philosopher (univie.academia.edu/GregorFlock) and journalist, Global Civil Society Network founder (www.gcsno.org/my-blog/), Tweets @GFlock_GCSN.

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Gregor Flock

Gregor Flock

independent philosopher (univie.academia.edu/GregorFlock) and journalist, Global Civil Society Network founder (www.gcsno.org/my-blog/), Tweets @GFlock_GCSN.

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