Chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria was staged, as the video of victims in the hospital is fake

Summary

The footage of people being treated after an alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria was staged. US President made decision to bomb Syria based on one video.

 

Disproof

No reliable evidence that footage of people being treated in a hospital after chemical weapons attack in Douma is fake.

The new round of disinformation was launched after Intercept published a new article about the Douma attack. The article states: "At least one chemical attack did take place in Douma on April 7, and people died as a result."

The Interim report of the OPCW fact-finding mission in Syria regarding the incident of alleged use of toxic chemicals as a weapon in Douma states that "Various chlorinated organic chemicals were found in samples from Locations 2 and 4, along with residues of explosive" (p. 2).

Consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative that chemical attack in Douma, Syria was staged. See our and Bellingcat's reporting how Russian and Syrian state media have used fiction movies to "prove" that the Douma attack was fabricated.

Background:

On 7 April 2018, a high number of civilians were killed in the besieged Syrian city of Douma, with evidence pointing towards another chemical attack by the regime, according to the EU.

In April 2018, the US Government assessed with high confidence, that the Syrian regime used chemical weapons in the eastern Damascus suburb of Duma on April 7, based on descriptions of the attack in multiple media sources, the reported symptoms experienced by victims, videos and images showing two assessed barrel bombs from the attack, and reliable information indicating coordination between Syrian military officials before the attack.

According to the World Health Organisation, during the shelling of Douma on Saturday, an estimated 500 patients presented to health facilities exhibiting signs and symptoms consistent with exposure to toxic chemicals. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/2018/chemical-attacks-syria/en/

See also Bellingcat's open source survey on the suspected chemical attack: https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2018/04/11/open-source-survey-alleged-chemical-attacks-douma-7th-april-2018/

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 137
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 14/02/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Syria
  • Keywords: Douma, Chemical weapons/attack, Provocation, Syrian War
  • Outlet: Vremya Pokazhet @ Pervyi kanal (35:49 - 45:37)
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Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Euromaidan protests.

According to a 2015 report by the Council of Europe, “Berkut” special forces (subordinated under the Ministry of Internal Affairs) were responsible for the majority of deaths during Euromaidan. The New York Times also established that “Berkut” forces were behind the killings that took place on February 18-21.

Pompeo warns EU allies that they will “face consequences” for using Huawei products

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Speaking at official meetings in Slovakia, Hungary, and Poland, Pompeo “made known the risks” facing European governments that fail to follow Washington’s advice.

Pompeo’s warning appears to have paid off. French telecom company Orange has announced it will no longer procure Huawei equipment to develop France’s first 5G network.

Disproof

The report cherry-picks quotes from Mike Pompeo's remarks during his Eastern Europe trip on February 11th-12th 2019, serving the common pro-Kremlin narrative that the US exerts excessive influence on Europe's regional and domestic politics (see previous disinformation cases about Washington's iron grip on Germany's security policy, the UK central bank, and the European Parliament).

In his remarks, Pompeo never uses the word "consequences" in relation to EU countries' continued use of Huawei products. In each of his three speeches, Pompeo only cites "risks" potentially faced by private citizens, and moreover never implies a cooling of relations between EU Member States and the US. He merely acknowledges that the US will not place its equipment anywhere that might involve a security risk from the proximity of Chinese technology. See Pompeo's speech in Hungary on February 11th 2019 and his speeches in Poland and Slovakia on February 12th 2019.

Russia did its utmost to save the INF treaty

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Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative that the US is entirely responsible for the demise of the INF Treaty because of its noncompliance in several areas.

The US government issued detailed refutations of Russian accusations of US noncompliance with INF (see previous euvsdisinfo cases).