Disinfo: Damascus facing unfounded accusations regarding the use of chemical weapons

Summary

Damascus is facing unfounded accusations regarding the use of chemical weapons and war crimes.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative absolving the Syrian regime of responsibility for chemical attacks.

The OPCW’s Fact-Finding Mission confirmed that people in Khan Shaykhun were exposed to sarin, a chemical weapon, on 4 April 2017. The JIM found Syria’s Government responsible for the attack.

And in September 2017, the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria summarised 33 separate incidents where it had found the use of chemical weapons.

On April 10 2018, Russia vetoed a US-drafted UN Security Council resolution that would have created a new inquiry to ascertain responsibility for chemical weapons attacks in Syria. In June, the OPCW members granted it the power to assign blame for chemical attacks.

The United Nations Human Rights Council blamed the Syrian government forces for the attack.

Read more about chemical attacks in Syria here and here, and other cases claiming that the White Helmets used chemical weapons in Syria in order to accuse the Assad government and that the White Helmets have falsified chemical attacks evidence.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 225
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 04/12/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Arabic,
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Syria
  • Keywords: War crimes, Chemical weapons/attack, Syrian War
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For NATO, Ukraine is important as a buffer zone, but not as a member of Alliance

All the statements of Ukrainian politicians that they were promised that Ukraine will be accepted into the Alliance are PR and nothing more. For NATO countries, Ukraine is important as a buffer zone, but not as a member of the Alliance.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about Ukraine and its cooperation with NATO.

Ukraine is a strategic partner for NATO in many areas. Since the 1990s, relations between NATO and Ukraine have developed into one of NATO’s most influential partnerships. Relations were strengthened with the signing of the 1997 Charter on a Distinctive Partnership, which established the NATO-Ukraine Commission (NUC). The Declaration of 2009 to Complement the NATO-Ukraine Charter mandated the NUC, through Ukraine’s Annual National Programme, to underpin Ukraine’s efforts to take forward reforms aimed at implementing Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations.

EU bureaucrats want to limit the use of Christmas symbols

The bureaucrats of the European Union have declared that a large number of Christian symbols on the streets and various offices might hurt the feelings of refugees and migrants from the Middle East. Thus, there is a need to limit the use of such symbols. /…/ In Brussels, the main Christmas tree has been replaced with an LED-construction, representing the “Winter holidays”

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narrative, forwarding hostile narratives on migrants, threatening Christmas and New Years Eve traditions, and about the decline of Christianity in Europe.

Neither has “EU Bureacrats” declared a limitation on the use of Christian symbols, nor has Brussels forbidden the Christmas tree (a symbol, without relation to Christianity). The Brussels Christmas tree of 2020 can be observed here on webcam. Municipal authorities in Brussels and most other Belgian and European cities have cancelled Christmas markets due to the COVID-19.

Italian town forbids Christmas carols not to insult migrants

In the Italian town of Rozzano near Milan, the headmaster of a school forbade a Christmas concert and suggested that Christmas should be observed without the traditional carols, as migrant children previous years during singing stood silently along the walls. In German Eschweiler tolling church bells were forbidden when migrants approached the municipal authorities with a request to cancel sounds that were foreign to them. Schools in Spain and Italy removed the crucifixes from the walls of the same reasons.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narrative, forwarding hostile narratives on migrants, threatening Christmas and New Years Eve traditions, and about the decline of Christianity in Europe.

Several of the cases, mentioned in the article, belong to a collection of anti-migrant “urban legends” that are circulated in European right wing media. The case from Rozzano has been debunked several times, since it appeared in 2015. The case from German Eschweiler seems to be entirely fiction. Connecting claims to concrete, small places far away serves to lend a tone of authenticity to the disinformation.