"It is incredibly rare that the BBC ever admits that one of their reports on Douma in Syria failed to meet the Corporation's editorial standards for accuracy by reporting false claims… Blink and you’d have missed this admission, but we didn’t, and it adds to a volley of misreporting that has dogged journalism and peace in the Middle East for decades." (Ross Ashcroft, Renegade Inc.) Ross Ashcroft skilfully reviews mainstream western media attacks on journalists who tried in 2018 to properly investigate false claims that the Syrian Government launched chemical attacks on its people. He reinterviews those journalists, as he analyses the recent BBC admission of defending lies that support the western media conspiracy to justify US-NATO attempts to overthrow Assad Government. He is joined by political scientist Dr. Piers Robinson and journalist Vanessa Beeley to discuss the crumbling narrative around the alleged Douma chemical attack.
BREAKING!Medical witness and remarkable documentation of how a false-flag chemical attack was filmed in Douma, and has almost brought about WW3. The Russian Defense Ministry has presented what it says is proof that the reported chemical weapons attack in Syria was staged. It also accused the British government of pressuring the perpetrators to speed up the “provocation.” Originally published at https://www.rt.com/news/424047-russian-mod-syria-statement/. [Two photos derived from video and slight change to introduction this https://candobetter.net version.]
During a briefing on Friday, the ministry showed interviews with two people, who, it said, are medical professionals working in the only hospital operating in Douma, a town near the Syrian capital, Damascus.
In the interviews released to the media, the two men reported how footage was shot of people dousing each other with water and treating children, which was claimed to show the aftermath of the April 7 chemical weapons attack. The patients shown in the video suffered from smoke poisoning and the water was poured on them by their relatives after a false claim that chemical weapons were used, the ministry said.
“Please, notice. These people do not hide their names. These are not some faceless claims on the social media by anonymous activists. They took part in taking that footage,” said ministry spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov.
“The Russian Defense Ministry also has evidence that Britain had a direct involvement in arranging this provocation in Eastern Ghouta,” the general added, referring to the neighborhood of which Douma is part. “We know for certain that between April 3 and April 6 the so-called White Helmets were seriously pressured from London to speed up the provocation that they were preparing.”
According to Konashenkov, the group, which was a primary source of photos and footage of the purported chemical attack, was informed of a large-scale artillery attack on Damascus planned by the Islamist group Army of Islam, which controlled Douma at the time. The White Helmets were ordered to arrange the provocation after retaliatory strikes by the Syrian government forces, which the shelling was certain to lead to, he said.
The UK rejected the accusations, with British UN Ambassador Karen Pierce calling them “grotesque,” “a blatant lie” and “the worst piece of fake news we've yet seen from the Russian propaganda machine.”
One of the interviews published by the ministry showed a man who said his name was Halil Ajij, and who said he was a medical student working at Douma’s only operational hospital. This is how he described the origin of the footage:
“On April 8, a bomb hit a building. The upper floors were damaged and a fire broke at the lower floors. Victims of that bombing were brought to us. People from the upper floors had smoke poisoning. We treated them, based on their suffocation."
Ajij said that a man unknown to him came and said there was a chemical attack and panic ensued. “Relatives of the victims started dousing each other with water. Other people, who didn’t seem to have medical training, started administering anti-asthma medicine to children. We didn’t see any patient with symptoms of a chemical weapons poisoning,” he said.
The first photos claiming to show the aftermath of the alleged chemical attack on April 7 were published online on the same day, and featured the bodies of many people, including children, some with foam around their mouths and noses. Footage from the hospital was released on Sunday, with the sources behind it claiming that it had been shot on Saturday.
Konashenkov said Russia hoped that international monitors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which is due to investigate the circumstances of the incident, will help establish the truth. He added Eastern Ghouta is currently trying to return to peaceful life after being liberated from militant groups by Syrian government forces. He called on other nations and international organizations to provide humanitarian aid, which is badly needed in the area. Russia is already supplying food, medicine, building materials and other essential supplies to the neighborhood, he said.
Residents of the neighborhood, who previously fled violence, are returning to their homes now that the area is relatively safe, the Russian official said. The latest reports from the ground say about 63,000 people have returned, which is over half of the displaced residents, he added.
The reported chemical weapons attack escalated tensions over Syria, just as Damascus was about to seize full control of Eastern Ghouta.
The US and allies such as the UK and France threatened military action in response to what they claim is an atrocity committed by the Syrian government. Russia insists the incident was staged and said it reserves the right to counter any attack on Syria.
RT spoke about the Russian claims with Lord Alan West, a retired officer of the British Royal Navy. He said he had strong reservations about taking allegations against Damascus at face value, because it didn’t make much military sense.
“It seems to be utterly ludicrous for the military that is in the process of taking over an area to go and do something with chemical weapons, which will draw the wrath of the larger enemy down upon them,” he said. “If I was advising the opponents of [Syrian President Bashar] Assad, I would be delighted to kill a few people there. Let’s face it, [the insurgents] don’t care if they kill women and children.”
“I am not willing to accept tweets. We need to see incontrovertible truth about what has happened there and make a decision on that basis,” he added.
Video inside: Tom Duggan lives in Damascus, Syria. This week he covered the Jaishal Islam (Saudi supported) terrorist group leaving Douma, Syria. He reports, "We were expecting between 3000 and 8000 hostages to be released. We got less than 100. Where did they all go? They had been held for between four and six years. Jaishal Islam submitted the names of these people, their ID numbers, and the Syrian Government, in good faith, accepted the release of the terrorists in exchange for the hostages they claimed to have. This is a huge example of genocide, but the UN has not even acknowledged it." Up to 8000 Syrians slaughtered or starved by Jaishal Islam, which the Syrian Government has been fighting, and, meanwhile the United states posing as an 'exceptional' state, is threatening to attack Syria, which will draw Russia and probably China into war, on the basis of a completely unproven allegation that the Syrian Government used 'chemical weapons' against its own people. Duggan knows there is a high risk of Damascus being attacked by the rogue 'exceptional' US state, but he has decided to remain there.