There has been much written about the alleged chemical attacks of the 25th and 30th March 2017 at Lataminah, Syria. Indeed both incidences were “investigated” by the OPCW-FFM and IIT teams (the latter being a team lead by NATO countries). Then during 2017, whilst the FFM were investigating the alleged 25th March chlorine attack, they would be supplied samples by the infamous White Helmets, allegedly from the scene of the attack, that would turn out to be covered with sarin degradation and by-products. The elephant in the room is that there was no suggestion the alleged 25th attack was anything but a chlorine attack. Therefore, a scenario had to be created, by someone, to explain sarin products at the scene of a chlorine attack and so the narrative around the 24th March attack was born.
Whilst investigating the alleged 24th March attack the NATO lead OPCW-IIT, would refer to videos allegedly recorded of the crater and munition fragments that they received from the White Helmets. They noted the metadata for the videos showed a record date of 26th March 2017, 2 days after the alleged attack happened. Given that these videos have never been released nor passed around on social media I decided to dig a little deeper into this date to see what I could find out.
Claims of chemical attack on 26th March
I quickly began to notice a vast number of tweets, from different sources, all claiming the same thing. That a chemical attack had taken place on the 26th March in Lataminah.
The first report I could find was from “Halab Today” at 8:38AM on the morning of 26th March 2017. Halab Today is a well known opposition media outlet and therefore these are not the claims of some guy with a camera.
Note the statement, “for the second day in a row..” This would refer to the alleged chlorine attack the day before (25/3) and this one (26/3). No mention of the 24th March alleged attack.
The next report was this Facebook post from the “Local Coordination Committees of Syria” which is a major network of opposition groups and therefore taken with a great degree of seriousness by western media and governments. The time for this post was 08:55 on the 26th.
At 9:06 another opposition source would tweet:
Once again we see the reference of chemical attacks “for second day”.
These tweets go on throughout the entire day of the 26th March. A major opposition account would tweet images of the alleged chlorine cylinders that are claimed to have been used during that day’s attacks. These images were originally recycled as being images from the alleged attack the day before.
In a Daily Beast article of 10th April 2017, Roy Gutman would write:
Within days of the setback in Hama, Syrian regime forces began using chemical weapons.
On March 25, a date also confirmed by the senior Pentagon official, a regime helicopter dropped a barrel bomb full of chlorine gas on a medical center in the town of Lataminah, north of Hama, killing two people, injuring 30 and putting the medical facility out of service.
The next day a second barrel bomb containing chlorine was dropped on an Izza Army position in the same town, and at least 20 fighters reported difficulty breathing. (emphasis mine)Roy Gutman, Daily Beast, “Assad Used Nerve Gas Because He’s Desperate. Expect Worse to Come.”
It’s interesting that he uses the figure “20” when referring to victims of this alleged attack as you may recall a tweet I posted above that also uses that same figure, albeit alleging those affected were civilians and not armed rebels.
So this alleged incident did receive a significant amount of coverage, including in the western media. Yet it was not mentioned nor investigated by either the OPCW-FFM or IIT teams.
*Edited 4/12/20 to add the following find:
I also found mention of the alleged 26th March chemical attack on the opposition’s SMART-News Agency website.
On March 26, 2017, a medical official in al-Lataminah hospital stated that civilians, including women and children, and fighters of the al-Izzah Army of the Free Syrian Army suffered from breathing difficulties after the Syrian government forces’ helicopters bombed al-Lataminah using poisonous chlorine gas for the second successive day.
Note they mention that chemicals had been used “for the second successive day” thus referring to the alleged 25th and 26th attacks. No mention again of the sarin attack alleged by the OPCW-IIT to have taken place on the 24th March as reported on here. This additional piece of evidence, from such an influential and well-known outlet as SMART News Agency further discredits the IIT claim and makes it look even more suspicious.
The forgotten chemical attack
If you recall my recent report on the alleged 24th March chemical attack you will be aware that there isn’t a single shred of evidence, written or physical, in the public domain that supports, even the mere hint, there was a chemical attack on this day. There’s simply not a mention of it anywhere. Even the head of Bellingcat, (a NATO backed investigative website) Eliot Higgins, writes:
Higgins would go on to say that it’s as if its didn’t even happen:
..in fact the March 24th report, I mean we looked into this, and we couldn’t find a single post on social media about it, we couldn’t find a single piece of open source information about it. It’s like it didn’t even happen. (emphasis mine)Eliot Higgins, Gagarin Podcast; 2020
So why would a highly publicised alleged chemical attack (26/3), with evidence and photographs, be ignored by the OPCW yet a totally none-reported alleged attack, with not a single shred of evidence, go on to be investigated by both the FFM and IIT?
The answer is really quite simple.
The FFM further notes the presence of chemicals that may be related to sarin. In the absence of information to the contrary, the FFM does not attribute the presence of these chemicals to this alleged incident, but instead determines their presence as being related to the very likely use of sarin the day before, and the decontamination of patients at this location.OPCW-FFM Report, S/1636/2018, page 29, 6.6
This quote is from the OPCW-FFM report into the alleged 25th March 2017 chlorine attack at Lataminah. As I detail in my previous report, upon sending samples collected by the White Helmets to a “designated laboratory” the OPCW were fed back results that most of the samples were heavily contaminated by either a by-product of sarin production, Di-isopropyl methylphosphonate, aka DIMP, or the sarin degradation product, Isopropyl propyl methylphosphonate, aka IPMPA.
In neither of the OPCW reports are witnesses asked about this oddity, so the OPCW takes it upon themselves to explain how sarin ended up in samples taken as far away as 150m from the hospital the alleged victims were treated at. So they are either directly responsible for, or accomplices, to the fabrication of a sarin attack the day before and to do so they even used footage from the 26th alleged chemical attack!
We already know from the OPCW-IIT that the videos they viewed for the alleged 24th attack have metadata showing they were actually recorded on the 26th.
The IIT assessed videos of the area, including their metadata, taken on 26 March 2017, and confirmed their geolocation through two independent verifications by a specialised institute.OPCW-IIT Report Lataminah: S/1867/2020, page 34, 7.9
FYI: I’m reliably told that this “geolocation” was carried out by Bellingcat.
So the choice was clear. Either report on the alleged 26th chlorine attack or use the alleged footage to fabricate a 24th sarin attack. This explains perfectly why the OPCW failed to release a single image of the alleged crater or bomb remnants and why there is not even a mention on social media of an alleged chemical attack that day. Had they reported on the alleged 26th attack then the sarin products on the samples for the 25th would have signalled a staging took place.
Where did the sarin products come from?
Samples from the alleged 25th March chlorine attack were handed to the OPCW on the 10th and 12th April 2017. Therefore, this was after the alleged 30th March sarin attack and the alleged 4th April sarin attack at Khan Sheikhoun.
However, it wouldn’t be until 11 months later, on the 19th February 2018, that samples from the alleged 24th March 2017 attack would be handed to the OPCW. These samples would also be doused in sarin (a non-persistent chemical agent) 11 months after the date of the alleged incident.
The explanation for the 25th’s samples being contaminated is due to cross-contamination and being stored alongside the sarin used on the 30th March which had, oddly or not, the same make-up as the sarin used on the 4th April. So samples from all 3 alleged incidents shared the same chemical fingerprints only one of those incidents, the 25th, wasn’t an alleged attack by sarin, but by chlorine!
It wouldn’t be until June 2018, in the FFM report, that the public would first learn about the alleged 24th attack the previous year.
We must seriously ask why both OPCW teams ignored, completely, a widely reported alleged chemical attack on the 26th March 2017 and instead wrote in-depth reports about a non-existent chemical attack on the 24th March 2017? Indeed, the OPCW would claim to have used video footage with metadata of the 26th March, meaning it was recored on that day, to support the claim there was an attack on the 24th. None of that makes any sense.
Add to that the fact there isn’t a shred of evidence online, or in the public sphere, that so much at hints at there being any chemical attack in Lataminah on the 24th March. As noted, Eliot Higgins would also share in the concern of the complete lack of evidence; “It’s like it didn’t even happen“. Well that’s because it didn’t. And we can be sure the OPCW were very aware of that.
But as sarin production products and degradation by-products were found all over samples from an alleged chlorine attack, this needed to be explained or the staging would have been obvious.
Having thoroughly studied and investigated many alleged chemical attacks in Syria I can say with certainty that all claimed attacks begin with a tweet or Facebook post. There’s always a trail left behind of these claims, no matter how obscure or dodgy that trail is, it still exists. As I have said, there’s NOTHING on an alleged chemical attack on the 24th March at Lataminah.
I can also say that in the various OPCW reports investigating such claims they always supply some photographic evidence that has been presented to them by the White Helmets. But not for the alleged 24th attack. They don’t supply proof of any of the evidence they say they have. Why the secrecy? The answer is glaringly obvious to those with their eyes opened. The event didn’t happen. I argue strongly that this is prima facie evidence that both the Len Phillips lead OPCW-FFM in 2017 and the NATO lead IIT of 2020 have aided and abetted fraud of great seriousness on the world stage.