Disinfo: White Helmets, terrorists plotting false-flag chemical attack in Syria's Idlib

Summary

The Hayat Tahrir al-Sham terrorist group, together with members of the pseudo-humanitarian organisation White Helmets, are plotting to stage the use of toxic substances and the destruction of civilian infrastructure in the settlements of the southern part of the Idlib de-escalation zone. The purpose of these provocations is the preparation of photo and video materials for distribution on Internet resources, Middle Eastern and Western media publications with allegations that Syrian government forces were using chemical weapons against civilians and conducting indiscriminate attacks.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative painting the White Helmets as a terrorist group, as well as seeking to absolve the Assad regime of responsibility for chemical attacks perpetrated in the course of the Syrian civil war. The claim is made without evidence and follows the pattern of unsubstantiated accusations regarding the White Helmets' complicity in chemical attacks in Syria. Available evidence on such attacks has yet to link a single incident to any other party than the Assad regime. See here and here for instances of self-contradictory reporting by RT and Sputnik alleging that earlier chemical "provocations" in Syria never came to pass because Moscow officials had exposed them in time.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 177
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 12/12/2019
  • Outlet language(s) English, Russian
  • Country: Syria, Russia
  • Keywords: false flag, Idlib, White Helmets, Provocation, Chemical weapons/attack, Terrorism, Syrian War
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The WADA expert group was geopolitically biased against Russia

If we have a closer look at the laboratory expert group, it consist of the following members; Terence Wan (Chair) Hong Kong, Arieh Cohen from Denmark, Bruno Garrido from Brazil, Catrin Goebel from Australia, Andrea Gotzmann from Germany, Tiia Kuuranne from Finland, Bruno le Bizec from France, Jenny Schulze from Sweden, Lorraine Turner from the UK and Peter van Eenoo from Belgium. The geopolitics are not favorable for Russia. The team manically consists of members of the pro-Western bloc, so it’s no wonder that this team voted all in favor of putting a four-year ban on Russia.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative claiming that any criticism of Russia voiced by any non-Russian entity, be it an NGO, a government, or a media outlet, is a symptom of pathological Russophobia afflicting all such institutions. In the course of the World Anti-Doping Code (WADA) investigation into the alleged state-sponsored doping operation, Russia has received the same treatment as any other country probed for doping violations. See here and here for comprehensive debunking by Polygraph.info.

Sanctions on Syria are illegal

Sanctions against Syria – whether from European countries or the United States – are illegal.

Disproof

In 2005, by UNSC Resolution 1636, the UN Security Council imposed travel bans and asset freezes on people suspected of being involved in the 14 February 2005 terrorist bombing in Beirut, Lebanon, in which Syria was implicated by a UN report.

The EU implemented those measures by adopting Council Common Position 2005/888/CFSP and Council Regulation (EC) No 305/2006.

White Helmets fabricated evidence used to bomb Syria

The United States has taken the fabrications of the White Helmets’ concerning “chemical attacks” in Syria as an excuse to call for direct airstrikes in this country.

Disproof

A recurring disinformation narrative claiming that chemical attack in Douma, Syria was staged, along with narratives aiming to discredit the White Helmets. See our and Bellingcat's reporting how Russian and Syrian state media have used fiction movies to "prove" that the Douma attack was fabricated.

The Report of the OPCW fact-finding mission in Syria regarding the incident of alleged use of toxic chemicals as a weapon in Douma states that "Based on the levels of chlorinated organic derivatives, detected in several environmental samples gathered at the sites of alleged use of toxic chemicals (Locations 2 and 4), which are not naturally present in the environment, the FFM concludes that the objects from which the samples were taken at both locations had been in contact with one or more substances containing reactive chlorine."