At least 40 members of the White Helmets, the notorious Western group posing as volunteer rescue workers, admitted that they had taken part in the staging of chemical attacks in Syria, according to a new study conducted by the Foundation for the Study of Democracy and unveiled at the UN. The fake attacks were designed to lay the blame on — and provoke armed retaliation against — the Syrian government.
The study also casts considerable doubt on the accuracy of OPCW reports concerning the alleged chemical attack in Douma, noting that the fact-finding mission based its conclusions on “falsified facts and untrustworthy or unidentified sources”.
This report advances recurring pro-Kremlin narratives which, respectively, paint the White Helmets as terrorists and/or war criminals; give the lie to OPCW findings which challenge the rhetoric of Moscow or its allies; deny the occurrence of the April 2018 chemical attack in Douma.
The "study" in question is a PowerPoint presentation created by the Foundation for the Study of Democracy, which the report presents as an independent organization. The Foundation is in fact a Russia-based GONGO (government-organized NGO) (p.28) led by Maksim Grigoriev and forms part of the so-called Civic Chamber, established in 2005 to simulate state engagement with civil society.