Disinfo: White Helmets are a terrorist group run by Western countries

Summary

The terrorist “White Helmets” group […] their operators are in the United States of America, Turkey, and some well-known Western countries.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative portraying the humanitarian White Helmets organisation as a Western-backed terrorist proxy group, in order to obfuscate the responsibility of the Assad regime for chemical attacks perpetrated during the Syrian civil war.

The "White Helmets" movement originated in Syria in 2012, when the first detachments of volunteer rescuers appeared in the territories outside 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 to themselves as a result of repeated air strikes.  Activists from this organisation have documented the use of chemical weapons in Syria by the Assad government and allied forces. Because of this, they have become the target of an extensive Russian disinformation campaign.

Read previous disinformation claims alleging that evidence confirms chemical attacks in Syria were falsified by the White Helmets, and that the chemical attacks in Syria have been staged and filmed by the media of the Western countries.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 194
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 09/04/2020
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: Turkey, US, Syria
  • Keywords: Terrorism financing, White Helmets, West, Chemical weapons/attack, Propaganda, Syrian War, Terrorism, The West
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EU demonises Russia, attributing all its problems to it

[…] There is such a profession in the European Union – to demonise Russia, blaming it for any of the European problems. The EU has enough problems of its own creation, especially after a weak first response in the fight against coronavirus. How could they avoid spinning the Russian topic?

Disproof

This claim exploits the coronavirus pandemic to push a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the EU's alleged Russphobia.

See previous disinformation claims alleging that EU claims about a Russian coronavirus disinformation campaign are Russophobia, that Russia is groundlessly accused in spreading disinformation about coronavirus and attacked by the West.

This Canadian report indicts the US with spreading Coronavirus

The United States may inadvertently stand behind the emergence of the COVID-19 virus in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

A report published by Canada’s GlobalResearch.ca made clear that last summer, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention ordered the closure of a major military biological laboratory at Fort Detrick, Maryland, in anticipation of possible leaks.

Five of the Americans participating in the Military World Games competitions hosted by Wuhan last October were infected with an undefined infection.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory about the 2019-nCoV coronavirus. There is no evidence to suggest that the virus is being used as a weapon against other states or that is has been fabricated inside laboratories. The narratives also resemble a recurring conspiracy theory about the Lugar Lab in Georgia.

The coronavirus comes from a family of viruses originating in animals that include the common cold and viruses such as SARS and MERS. The expert scientific consensus holds that the coronavirus has natural origins; there is no credible evidence supporting claims of laboratory engineering.

COVID-19 epidemic is fake, it is manufactured by media

We do not have a coronavirus epidemic. It does not exist anywhere in the world. This is a fake produced by WHO the fourth time in the last 20 years. The first fake epidemic was with SARS, which was also caused by the coronavirus. The second fake pandemic was bird flu. The third fake pandemic was swine flu. Now we are dealing with the fourth fake pandemic, which has no justification from a medical point of view. This is a media epidemic.

Disproof

An unfounded conspiracy theory, sharing a recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative about the COVID-19 outbreak. It also aims to discredit actions taken by the WHO and individual countries to stop the spread of the new disease.

COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation on 11 March, acknowledging that the virus had become a global phenomenon. Before that date, the situation was being described as an epidemic, illustrating that the virus had already spread to many people, and many communities, at the same time. As of 14 April, the total number of COVID-19 cases had passed 1.7 million.