Disinfo: OPCW ignores evidence proving Douma chemical attack was staged by White Helmets

Summary

In March 2019, the OPCW issued a report on the Douma incident, asserting that chlorine was “most likely” the chemical agent used in the alleged chemical weapons attack, despite evidence provided by Russia and Syria suggesting that it was staged by the White Helmets NGO.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narratives deflecting blame for chemical attacks from the Assad regime, and painting the White Helmets as terrorists.

The claim is made without evidence and follows the pattern of unsubstantiated accusations regarding the White Helmets' complicity in chemical attacks in Syria. Available evidence on such attacks has yet to link a single incident to any other party than the Assad regime.

The White Helmets are a staple topic of pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives on the Syrian civil war, having already been accused of numerous other provocations and war crimes including organ traffickingaiding terrorist organizationsstaging and/or perpetrating chemical attacks, sometimes with the help of Western intelligence agencies. A majority of these claims are unburdened by evidence and often rely on meaningless formulations such as "according to information provided by X," "there are reasons to assume," and so forth.

For more information about the importance of the White Helmets in pro-Kremlin disinformation regarding the Syrian war, see herehere, and here.

 

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 196
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 07/05/2020
  • Language/target audience: English
  • Country: Russia, Syria
  • Keywords: false flag, Douma, OPCW, Chemical weapons/attack, Syrian War

Disclaimer

Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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Disproof

The disinformation claim, first written on Eadaily.com, was republished by Gumilev-Center.ru and than became viral on Russian social media and messenger, including Whatsapp messages, without mentioning the original source.

The original claim on Eadaily.com amplifies and misrepresents the reporting by The Telegraph. The original reporting by the Telegraph says that "Britain’s attempt to ramp up mass coronavirus testing has been dealt a blow after key components ordered from overseas were discovered to be contaminated with coronavirus, the Telegraph can disclose" and "traces of the virus were detected in parts due for delivery". The supplier, Eurofins company said that the issue can be resolved by ‘proper cleaning’ but admitted the discovery would result in a delay.

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Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative  that attempts to portray the Soviet Union's role in World War II as non-aggressive and portrays various European states as being responsible for the outbreak of the war.

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Disproof

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