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Nick Waters @N_Waters89
, 6 tweets, 1 min read Read on Twitter
Thread: Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons & what it does.

It is important to understand the various mechanisms that form the OPCW and what will happen in Douma.

The team heading to Douma is a "Fact Finding Mission" (FFM). This is an important point. 1/?
It means that the team will identify and assess the facts of the case, such as what agents were used (if any) casualties, what happened on the night etc.

It is *not* within their mandate to assign responsibility, so don't expect a silver bullet from their report. 2/?
In order to establish responsibility for the attack, a Joint Investigation Mechanism (JIM) will probably be required.

The last JIM found that the Syrian regime was responsible for Khan Sheikhoun, & multiple attacks using chlorine gas canisters dropped from helicopters. 3/5
However, the JIM no longer exists.

Russia vetoed the extension of its mandate in Autumn 2017.

Therefore, there does not currently appear to be a mechanism at international level for assigning blame for these chemical attacks (Please keep me honest on this if I'm incorrect) 4/5
Therefore, this OPCW team will not be able to assign responsibility, because it's quite clear one particular party does not want there to be a truly independent investigation into the use of chemical weapons in Syria. 5/6
This rather puts a hole in the plans of some who are calling for nothing to happen until such an investigation takes place.

End.

(Please, any UN/OPCW people, feel free to keep me honest if I've made a mistake)
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