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OPCW report on Khan Sheikhoun chemical attack ignores data ruling out Assad's involvement

Summary of Disinformation

The 2017 OPCW report on the Khan Shaykhoun chemical attack provides an extensive analysis of the incident, but somehow overlooks the fact that the closest any government aircraft came to the settlement that day was 5 km. This effectively rules out the possibility of an airstrike and casts doubt on the version holding Damascus responsible for the attack.

Secondly, the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission’s (FFM) analysis does not explain how some victims of the attack could have been transported to a hospital 125km away from Khan Shaykhoun just 30 minutes after the incident.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative denying the Assad regime's responsibility for chemical attacks in Syria, and questioning the integrity of the OPCW.

Both observations pertaining to the 2017 Khan Shaykhoun attack are taken grossly out of context. The joint OPCW-UN report on the incident does state that "the closest to Khan Shaykhoun that the aircraft had flown has been approximately 5km away" (p. 24, para 28), but immediately goes on to cite a weapons expert as saying that "it would be possible for such an aerial bomb to be dropped on the town from the aforementioned distances" (ibid., para 30).

The JIT analysis also notes "discrepancies" in the timeframes and locations of hospital admissions (p. 31, para 77), but does not consider them "of such a nature as to call into question the aforementioned findings" (p. 10, para 46(i)).

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Reported in: Issue 162
Date: 21.08.2019
Language: English
Country: Syria
Keywords: OPCW, Khan Sheikhoun, Chemical weapons/attack, Propaganda, Syrian War
Outlet where the disinformation appeared: RT News @RT, time: 16:48-18:20
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