Disinfo: White Helmets faked the 2017 Khan Sheikhoun chemical attack


RT was granted exclusive access to an underground fortress in Khan Sheikhoun, a former terrorist stronghold. According to the Syrian Army, the underground complex doubled as a film set which the White Helmets used to record footage of a fake chemical attack in 2017.

Back then, blame for the incident, which has never been definitively settled, was pinned on Damascus, and the White Helmet videos became a pretext for a missile strike on Syria by the US and its allies.


Recurring pro-Kremlin narratives aiming to discredit the White Helmets and claiming that the Khan Shaykhun chemical attack was staged by Western actors in order to justify military action against the Assad regime.

The OPCW’s Fact Finding Mission confirmed that people in Khan Shaykhun were exposed to sarin, a chemical weapon, on 4 April 2017. “The OPCW FFM has confirmed the use of sarin, a nerve agent, during the 4 April incident in Khan Shaykhun in Syria,” mentioned its Director-General in a report published on June 30, 2017.

The UN-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism found Syria’s Government responsible for the attack in Khan Shaykhun. On April 10 2018, Russia vetoed a U.S.-drafted U.N. Security Council resolution that would have created a new inquiry to ascertain responsibility for chemical weapons attacks in Syria. In June, the OPCW members granted it power to assign blame for chemical attacks.

The United Nations Human Rights Council blamed the Syrian government forces for the 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 Shaykhun, killing over 80 people, most of whom were women and children,” says the report.

Read more about chemical attacks in Syria here and here.



  • Reported in: Issue 168
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 05/10/2019
  • Language/target audience: English
  • Country: Syria
  • Keywords: White Helmets, Chemical weapons/attack, Propaganda, Syrian War, Terrorism


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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