[Editor’s note: In 2014, Serena Shim stumbled upon a safehouse run by Jared Cohen and Google Idea Groups, a short distance from a border crossing into Syria between Hatay and Aleppo province in Syria. In the safehouse were three Ukrainian secret service who had just buried a load of sarin gas shells from the Republic of Georgia. VT Bureau Chief and former US Army chemical weapons expert Jeffrey Silverman had followed the transit of these WMDs from a CIA facility near the Tblisi airport in Georgia. Silverman, working with TV network Russia24, VT and Russia Today , had exposed this facility, funded as a US Agricultural Research Station under the direct supervision of the US Army Biological and Chemical Warfare Facility at Fort Dietrich, Maryland.
After Shim broke this story on PressTV, Turkish president Erdogan asked US vice president Joseph Biden if Shim could be arrested for espionage – we can only imagine what Biden said, based on the clumsily-staged ‘accident’ leading to her death only a few days later. It is also believed that a CIA operative statione in Libya under the cover of a refugee air worker who had befriended Shim was instrumental in her death.]
Turkey has said it expected steps would be taken against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, as a U.N. body has ascertained the liability of Damascus in the use of chemical weapons during the Syrian civil war.
“Considering the fact that the regime has heedlessly continued to use chemical weapons up to now, Turkey expects steps will be taken regarding the regime, which is a party to the CWC [Chemical Weapons Convention], so that it is held accountable by necessary sanctions called for by this crime,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a written statement on Aug 27.
Turkey’s statement after the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)–United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) ascertained the liability of the Syrian regime in some of the cases under investigation. The mechanism was established pursuant to U.N. Security Council Resolution 2235, in order to identify perpetrators using chemical weapons in Syria.
It also found that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) also used chemical weapons in one incident.
“JIM’s findings also clearly indicate that Turkey has been justified by its previous warnings,” read the statement.
“The use of chemical weapons is a crime against humanity and constitutes a war crime. As a responsible member of the international community, Turkey expects the OPCW, which is responsible for supervising the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, to continue monitoring and reporting on the gaps and discrepancies in the declaration of the Syrian regime pertaining to its chemical weapons program,” it added.
Recalling that the report also cited ISIL using chemical weapons, Turkey said: “The use of chemical weapons by DEASH [ISIL] amid its vicious terrorist acts has also been established by the JIM in its report. Our efforts to counter DEASH will continue with resolve.”