MESOP NEWS SCANDAL ! : Russia Moves to Shut Chemical Watchdog Before It Blames Assad Regime

By Scott Lucas – eaworldview – October 14, 2017 – Russia is moving to shut down the world’s leading chemical weapons inspection organizatio before it formally blames the Assad regime for a deadly sarin attack in northwest Syria on April 4.

The UN and Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons are expected to report to the UN Security Council this month that the regime carried out the assault on Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib Province, killing at least 92 people and wounding hundreds. It may also conclude that regime warplanes used sarin on Latamneh in northern Hama Province on March 30, injuring almost 100 people.But the mandate of the UN-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism, unanimously created by the Security Council in 2015 and renewed in 2016 for another year, expires in mid-November.

Mikhail Ulyanov, the director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s non-proliferation and arms control department, made the far-from-subtle threat on Friday.Saying there were “serious problems” with the inquiry, he said in New York:    In order to judge if it deserves an extension of the mandate, we need to see the report to be issued on the 26th of October and assess it,” Ulyanov told a briefing at the United Nations in New York.

I ask myself what is the reason for the extension of the mandate of this mechanism if it is not capable and is not willing to fulfill its mandate.   We will wait for the report and then we will define our position.Some UN diplomats said a resolution over the JIM’s mandate could be put to a vote before its report is submitted. A Russian veto would kill the extension.

The JIM has found that regime forces were responsible for three chlorine gas attacks in northwest Syria in 2014 and 2015. Russia has been the essential defender of the Assad regime as it tries to escape blame for a series of chemical weapons attacks since 2012, notably the multiple sarin assaults near Damascus in August 2013 that killed at least 1,400 people. Because there was no JIM at the time, the regime has never been formally charged over the attacks.Despite the regime’s pledge to hand over chemical weapons stocks — Russia’s initiative to divert the US from military intervention —- it has continued to retain some material and carry out chlorine attacks in nprthwest Syria and the Damascus suburb, before returning to the use of sarin this spring.