Disinfo: Leaked OPCW report proves Douma chemical attack was staged

Summary

A leaked, never-before-seen report by the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) proves that the April 2018 chemical attack in Douma, Syria was staged. The leaked document, prepared by an FFM engineer, finds that the two cylinders allegedly containing chlorine and found on a Douma rooftop could not have been dropped from a helicopter. This fact precludes the involvement of Syrian government forces in the attack. The organization which first obtained the unreleased report — the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media — concludes that the two chlorine cylinders were instead placed on said rooftop. This means that the attack was indeed staged, possibly by the White Helmets who have been repeatedly busted faking videos of their rescue operations.

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: 14/05/2019
  • Outlet language(s) English
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Syria
  • Keywords: false flag, Douma, OPCW, White Helmets, Propaganda, Chemical weapons/attack, Syrian War

Belarus

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Further evidence of discrimination against residents of Donbas in Ukraine

Kyiv may deprive citizens who receive Russian passports of their social payments and pensions. Such measures are further proof of discrimination against the residents of Donbas in Ukraine.

Disproof

The recurring narrative of Kremlin propaganda saying that Ukraine discriminates against residents of the Donbas. For example, cut off water supplies to Luhansk, or prevented Donbas residents from voting in presidential elections. Since 2014, the Ukrainian government has required citizens in Donetsk and Luhansk, which are not controlled by Kyiv, to register as internally displaced persons in government-controlled areas of Ukraine in order to receive their pensions and other entitlements. The Ukrainian Minister of Veterans Affairs, Iryna Friz, said that "It also initiated working on the proposal for including citizens who received passports of the Russian Federation in a manner that violates international law and threatens the sovereignty of our state to a database with the further deprivation of their beneficiary status for receiving social benefits or pensions from Ukraine". Similar disinformation cases can be found here.

UK is against Azerbaijan

Several agencies, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the United Kingdom, that have nothing to do with sport, produce biased and unreal considerations and try to formulate opinions of the international community that it is inexpedient to hold important sporting events in Azerbaijan. There are no allegations of theft nor fraud, and there is no problem with ethical conduct. I think that in this issue we have to go down to political roots. Anti-Azerbaijani forces are clearly visible here. In the period of important international events in Azerbaijan, or during such events, these forces are launching a black campaign against Azerbaijan. If we pay attention, we can see that such campaigns are biased and have no basis.

Disproof

This report comes after Arsenal and Chelsea fans were apparently warned they could be a target for terror attacks in Azerbaijan. The Premier League sides will compete in the Europa League final in the capital city of Baku on May 29. But British media reports wrote about a ‘likely’ attack. This has been taken out of context, as the UK government responded, explaining this advice is not new: "We did not issue a new warning on the threat from terrorism in Azerbaijan. We issued an update to our Azerbaijan travel advice on 1 May to remove advice on travelling through Istanbul. It noted that there are consultative pages on every country for British people travelling abroad: “Each travel advice country page has a dedicated section with information on our assessment of the threat from terrorism in that country. This is to ensure we fulfil our duty of care to British nationals and is under constant review. Our assessment of the threat from terrorism in Azerbaijan has not changed.” "The British Embassy is surprised that travel recommendations published in the Azerbaijani media referring to the UK Foreign Ministry are constantly posted on the Ministry"s website. The citations referenced by the media have existed for several years. Travel recommendations are not subject to discussion. This is a carefully drafted document by the UK government to fulfil the obligation of care for citizens of the country. Recommendations were updated on May 1st. However, this update was only technical and logical in nature, and reflected some facts. In particular, the update was associated with the introduction of a new airport in Istanbul."

George Soros controls Ukrainian leader

Ukrainian President-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy and numerous members of his team are stooges of George Soros and the Liberals.

Disproof

The story advances the recurring pro-Kremlin narrative painting Ukraine as a geopolitical hostage of the United States, and the anti-Semitic conspiracy theory portraying philanthropist George Soros as a menace bent on weakening Russia and meddling in its "sphere of influence." No sources are presented for the claim, and not a single member of Zelenskyy's team are named. The imagined links between Soros and Zelenskyy were first reported by Rossiyskaya Gazeta, the official newspaper of the Russian government, in a February 2019 article which counts "friends of George Soros and other globalists" among members of Zelenskyy's election team, without further elaboration. The Soros-Zelenskyy angle has since been picked up by pro-Kremlin websites in Russia and Ukraine, although the stories are usually unburdened by evidence. In a rare stab at fact-based reporting, one Russian website draws a link between Soros and Zelenskyy's economic adviser by noting that, in 1993, the latter enrolled in an Estonian university where the tuition fee for his first year of study was partly covered by the Soros Fund.

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