Disinfo: Alleged chemical attack in Syria: new documents question final findings of OPCW

Summary

A report written by OPCW engineers who went on the ground in Syria to Douma says that all the images, all the videos of this famous day of April 7, 2018 day of the alleged chemical attack in Douma of the damage caused do not correspond with the hypothesis of gas cylinders released from the air. Another place, another incoherence. A cylinder that just could not get where it was found with its valve still intact. The only rational explanation for them and that the two gas bottles were already on the spot. But these explanations clearly contradict the official report. This new report changes everything. In summary, observations at the scene of the two locations, together with subsequent analysis, suggest that there is a higher probability that both cylinders were manually placed at those two locations rather than being delivered from an aircraft. The OPCW does not comment. But what we learned, thanks to those leaks,puts their final findings in question.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narratives deflecting blame for chemical attacks from the Assad regime; painting the White Helmets as terrorists; and aiming to discredit the OPCW. The "never-before-seen-report" appears to be an engineering assessment carried out by one individual who, contrary to Sputnik's false claim, was never a member of the Fact-Finding Mission and is not currently employed by the organization. The individual, however, was affiliated with the OPCW as an engineer and apparently have access to materials gathered in the course of the Douma FFM, and based his/her conclusions on the same evidence pool. An OPCW press statement confirms that "all information was taken into account, deliberated, and weighed when formulating the final report regarding the incident in Douma." The OPCW Technical Secretariat is conducting an internal investigation about the unauthorised release of the document in question. Regardless of the leaked document's authenticity, its conclusion that the cylinders could not have been dropped from helicopters: a) has been addressed in the actual OPCW report on Douma (Annex 6, pp. 55-56); b) does not support the outlandish claim that the incident was staged "and designed to frame the Syrian government." The White Helmets have not once been "busted" staging anything, see our debunking on the subject for more details.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 150
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 19/05/2019
  • Outlet language(s) French
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Syria
  • Keywords: OPCW, White Helmets, Chemical weapons/attack, Syrian War
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Neither pro-West experts nor the Belarusian Foreign Minister, Uladzimir Makey, know why Alyaksandr Lukashenka did not accept the EU’s invitation to attend the Eastern Partnership (EaP) summit in Brussels to mark its 10th anniversary. Attending the summit meant that Lukashenka would have to meet and hug the failed robber of the Ukrainian people, Petro Poroshenko, hence, aggravating Belarus-Ukraine relations. Alyaksandr Lukashenka is well aware that such anniversaries and visits have no value. Furthermore, he rightly does not trust the West’s bureaucracy which, with assistance from Belarusian puppets can organise a vile provocation including the physical elimination of a politician disliked by all.

Disproof

This message is a conspiracy consistent with extreme modification of recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the West's attempts to destabilise Belarus and to organise a colour revolution in the country. Belarusian FM Uladzimir Makey explained Alexander Lukashenko's decision to skip the summit through an insufficient level of Belarus-EU cooperation. See another extreme modification of this narrative in an earlier disinformation case alleging that the Belarusian opposition, civic activists and independent journalists make kill lists for Western security bodies.

OPCW leaked report contradicts official conclusions about Douma attack

A report prepared by engineers of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) contradicts the final report of this same UN institution about the events in the Syrian city of Douma (Eastern Ghouta) in April 2018, and raise questions about the existence of political pressure from the US, UK and France. According to the document, “there is a higher probability” that two gas cylinders found in Douma “were manually placed at those to locations rather than being delivered from an aircraft”, which means that Syrian rebels could perfectly have planted them there. “The dimensions, characteristics and appearance of the cylinders and the surrounding scene of the incidents, were inconsistent with what would have been expected in the case of either cylinder been delivered from an aircraft”, the engineers concluded.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narratives deflecting blame for chemical attacks from the Assad regime; painting the White Helmets as terrorists; and aiming to discredit the OPCW. The "never-before-seen-report" appears to be an engineering assessment carried out by one individual who, contrary to Sputnik's false claim, was never a member of the Fact-Finding Mission and is not currently employed by the organization. The individual, however, was affiliated with the OPCW as an engineer and apparently have access to materials gathered in the course of the Douma FFM, and based his/her conclusions on the same evidence pool. An OPCW press statement confirms that "all information was taken into account, deliberated, and weighed when formulating the final report regarding the incident in Douma." The OPCW Technical Secretariat is conducting an internal investigation about the unauthorised release of the document in question. Regardless of the leaked document's authenticity, its conclusion that the cylinders could not have been dropped from helicopters: a) has been addressed in the actual OPCW report on Douma (Annex 6, pp. 55-56); b) does not support the claim that the incident was staged "and designed to frame the Syrian government." The White Helmets have not once been "busted" staging anything, see our debunking on the subject for more details.

In contrast to Russia, western Europe is abandoning Christian roots

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Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the Islamisation of Europe, in line with a similar narrative on the morally decaying West. Despite the dropping levels of religious practice in Europe, the majority of western Europeans still identify themselves as Christians, a 2018 survey by the Pew Research Center shows. According to the same survey, 31% of western Europeans who identify themselves as Christians attend religious services at least monthly. At the same time one of the 2018 polls in Russia concluded that 17% of Russians who identify themselves as Orthodox Christians attend church at least monthly. See a collection of earlier disinformation cases concerning the Orthodox church.