Russian OPCW envoy pledges to bring Syrian boy in White Helmets video to OPCW as witness
Russia’s Permanent Representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Alexander Shulgin has pledged to spare no effort to have a Syrian teenage boy who can be seen in a video the White Helmets NGO presents as evidence to government troops’ using chemical weapons speak at the OPCW to testify the attack was a provocation.
“At a certain point, I told my Western colleagues: we, probably, will have to use another language, since you don’t understand what we are saying. We will bring here, in The Hague, eyewitnesses who will personally tell you it was a choreographed provocation. I will do my best to have this boy speak here,” Shulgin said in an interview with the NTV television channel on Sunday.
He did not rule out however that the boy would not be let speak at the OPCW. “Everything is possible. They don’t want to hear anything. They stop at nothing. Everywhere they use their steamroller methods, they leave destruction and chaos behind,” the Russian diplomat noted.
An OPCW fact-finding mission arrived in Damascus on April 14 to probe into alleged chlorine bomb attack on the city of Douma by government troops on April 7.
The White Helmets claim chemical weapons had been used in Douma on April 7. The Russian Defense Ministry slammed the source as unreliable. The Russian center for the reconciliation of conflicting parties explored Douma on April 9 to find no traces that might indicate chemical weapons had been used there.
Shulgin said earlier that Russian specialists who had probed into the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria’s Douma to identify some people shown in the video as victims of a chemical attack. The Rossiya-24 television channel aired an interview with a boy, Hassan Dial, 11, who had taken part in the White Helmets’ filming.