Disinfo: West uses Goebbels’ methods to put pressure on Syria

Summary

The West is using Goebbels’ methods to put pressure on Syria. On April 7, 2018, a pseudo-humanitarian organisation called the White Helmets, who are associated with British intelligence, announced a chemical attack in the city of Douma. Western media immediately accused the Syrian army of using chemical weapons against civilians. The very next day, Jaysh al-Islam fighters fled from Douma and the Syrian and Russian military entered the city, who did not find any traces of a chemical attack. Subsequently, it became known that the video recordings of the consequences of the “chemical attack” provided to the Western media by “the White Helmets” were staged.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria.

In March 2019, the OPCW confirmed in its final report that chlorine was used in the attack on Douma, April 7, 2018.

According to the Berlin Non-Profit Organisation Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi), chemical weapons were used more than 300 times in Syria.

Background:

The White Helmets movement originated in Syria in 2012, when the first detachments of volunteer rescuers appeared in the territories outside of the control of Bashar al-Assad's troops. In 2014, volunteer teams merged into a national organisation, the Syrian Civil Defence, which is the official name of the White Helmets. Volunteers save people from the rubble after bombings, despite the danger of dying themselves as a result of repeated airstrikes. Activists have documented the use of chemical weapons in Syria by the Assad government and allied forces. Russia is supporting Assad, therefore the White Helmets have become the target of an extensive Russian disinformation campaign.

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 trafficking; aiding terrorist organisations; staging and/or perpetrating chemical attacks, sometimes with the help of Western intelligence agencies.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 214
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 01/10/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: UK, Russia, Syria
  • Keywords: Douma, OPCW, White Helmets, 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

There are big differences between Donald Trump and Joe Biden’s campaign proposals in foreign policy, especially in issues such as sanctions on Iran and Cuba, climate change, multilateralism and transatlantic alliances, the Israel-Palestine conflict and US relations with democracies and autocracies. The disingenuous claim that there won’t be any change in US foreign policy whoever wins the election matches a well-established pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about global elites secretly ruling the world, and specifically a so-called ‘Deep State’ in the United States. This narrative aims to question the legitimacy of democracy and Western institutions, in this case the US elections of November 3, 2020.

See other examples of these disinformation narratives in our database, such as claims that the Deep State is using Navalny to force Merkel to scrap the Nord Stream 2 project, promoting the ‘Russiagate’ conspiracy theory, or pushing US president towards war with Iran; that the Assange case represents Donald Trump’s capitulation to it; or than any US president will be assassinated if he confronts this structure.

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Disproof

Conspiracy theory and a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the US presence in Europe.

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They just want to find an excuse for discrimination against the Russian-speaking minority.

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Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Baltic States. 

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