Fake News about a Fake Attack? Were No Chemical Weapons Used in Douma?

On April 16, the Russian envoy to the OPCW Alexander Shulgin stated before the executive committee of the organization that Russia has irrefutable proof that no chemical weapons attack took place in Douma on April 7, that “all this was a planned provocation by the British intelligence services, probably, with the participation of their senior allies from Washington with the aim of misleading the international community and justifying aggression against Syria.”

The direct executors of this provocation were pseudo-humanitarian NGOs, he said according to Sputnik, among them, the “notorious ‘White Helmets,’ which some delegations are so fond of praising.”

After the April 16 OPCW meeting in The Hague, Ambassador Shulgin said the Russians had “handed out materials demonstrating that what happened in Douma on April was well orchestrated….Facts were presented to show how the White Helmets, this pseudo-humanitarian, non-government organization, works off the money they receive from Western sponsors, first of all, from the United States and Great Britain, to stage various sorts of provocations.”

From China, well-known CGTN Anchor Yang Rui delivered a stinging expose of the White Helmets on his April 17 broadcast “Rui Thinking”, accusing them of producing “fictional pictures on atrocities denouncing the Assad government.”

In addition, Middle East expert Robert Fisk penned an article in the UK’s Independent dated April 16 under the title “The Search for Truth in the Rubble of Douma — And One Doctor’s Doubts Over the Chemical Attack.” During his tour of Douma, he met Dr. Assim Rahaibani, who told him that the victims who arrived at the hospital were suffering from hypoxia, or a loss of oxygen, due to the shelling by the Syrian Army. But “then someone at the door, a White Helmet, shouted ‘Gas!’, and a panic began. People started throwing water over each other. Yes, the video was filmed here, it is genuine, but what you see are people suffering from hypoxia not gas poisoning.”

An American reporter, Pearson Sharp, has also toured the Douma area, including the neighborhood hit and the hospital. He reported extensively on his findings to One America News TV Network on April 16. “No evidence, so far, has been found that there was a chemical attack. That’s the bottom line in this story.” Sharp cannot say that no chemical attack took place, but none of the many people he spoke to on the ground had seen “a single shred of evidence of any chemical attack.”