Disinfo: Syrian rebels and the White Helmets are preparing a chemical provocation in Syria

Summary

The Syrian rebels and their White Helmets allies are preparing a provocation with the use of chemicals in Syria to blame the Syrian authorities.

Disproof

This claim involves unfounded speculation, based on no supporting evidence, to smear the White Helmets, a humanitarian organisation and frequent target of pro-Kremlin disinformation, and Syrian opposition forces. This case involves a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative portraying the White Helmets as a Western-backed terrorist proxy and, implicitly, denying the responsibility of the Assad regime for chemical attacks perpetrated during the Syrian civil war.

The UN-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism found Syria’s government responsible for the April 2017 attack in Khan Shaykhun. On April 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  2018, the OPCW members granted it the power to assign responsibility for chemical attacks.

The UN Human Rights Council stated that Syrian government forces were responsible for the Khan Shaykhun attack. “Government forces continued to deliberately target civilians, including through the use of chemical weapons against civilians in opposition-held areas. As part of an aerial campaign in northern Hama and southern Idlib, on 4 April the Syrian air force used sarin in Khan Sheikhoun, killing over 80 people, most of whom were women and children,” says the report. Syrian government forces and their ally Russia continue to deny these facts.

See here for more information about the disinformation campaign against the White Helmets. Read similar cases claiming that the White Helmets used chemical weapons in Syria in order to accuse the Assad government and that the White Helmets have close links to Al-Qaeda and falsify chemical attacks evidence.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue184
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 27/01/2020
  • Language/target audience: Italian
  • Country: Syria
  • Keywords: White Helmets, Chemical weapons/attack, Syrian War, Terrorism

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

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