The Douma false flag is one of the most important stories over the past few years that has been (almost) completely ignored by the mainstream media. To summarise the scandal, Britain, the US and France bombed Syria based on the claim that Assad had carried out a chemical attack against civilians in Douma in April 2018. This argument was dubious from the start, but a drip feed of evidence has shown that the claim that Assad ‘gassed his own people’ at Douma to be a complete fraud.
This series of three articles will outline the key information regarding this scandal.
Part 1, below, will cover in brief what the Syrian conflict is about and why the West is involved, the basic narrative about Douma promoted by the US/UK governments and mainstream media, and the OPCW Report which was released in March 2019 and implied Assad was responsible for a chemical attack using chlorine.
Part 2 will cover the main points of evidence disproving the Western claims: 1) the nonexistent logic behind an Assad gas attack, 2) the Syrian witnesses who testified at the OPCW, 3) BBC producer Riam Dalati stating he could prove the attack was staged, 4) The Henderson Report, a ballistics analysis that contradicted the final OPCW report, 5) Internal OPCW documents leaked to Wikileaks, 6) Evidence showing that Henderson was a legitimate authority within the OPCW.
Part 3 will discuss the mainstream media response to this evidence. It will focus on the case of George Monbiot, an alleged outsider who in fact proves his establishment credentials by lying about Syria.
What is Syria About?
The war in Syria is a struggle for control over the country between different factions, that can be divided between pro- and anti-government forces.
The government of Syria, led by Bashar Al-Assad, seeks to maintain control over the country and protect Syria’s territorial integrity. His government is working with their ally, the Russian government led by Vladimir Putin (who has had a military presence in Syria since 2015). Some of Putin’s motives are likely to be protection of a valuable ally and concerns over Islamic terrorists from a jihadist-run Syria destabilising the North Caucasus.
On the other side of the conflict are those who seek to overthrow the Assad government. There are several different armed jihadist groups, such as Islamic State and al-Nusra, operating in Syria. There is also a Kurdish faction in the North of Syria that oppose Assad, known as the Syrian Democratic Forces. The United States also has a sizable troop presence in Syria.
The Syrians and Russians are fighting the jihadi terrorists, whereas the West is using both the jihadists and the Kurds to undermine the Syrian government and the territorial integrity of the country. The US has funded and armed jihadists for this purpose, as well as using the Kurds (along with their own troops) to prevent the Syrian government’s access to oil fields. The West wants to remove Assad from power or at least plunge the country into such complete destabilisation that it cannot function.
Why is the West even concerned with Syria? What’s in it for them? There are a number of factors.
Economic motivations are always a strong reason for any war. The military industrial complex in the US always wants more war in order to increase the profits of military contractors, and politicians are generally funded by these contractors and so support the conflicts. Economic exploitation is also a motivating factor. Having a US vassal state in Syria would make this easier. In the case of Iraq, US firms such as Halliburton made a fortune out of the conflict. Even if they fail (very likely) at creating a vassal state there the destruction wreaked on Syria operates as a threat to any other leader thinking of pursuing an approach at odds with Washington’s interest.
Geostrategic motivations are also relevant, in particular, trying to weaken the Russian position in the face of her resurgence as a player on the international stage (at least to an extent). In the 1990s, Russia was a completely impotent country consumed with economic crisis as well as internal secessionist challenges in the Caucasus. In the 2000s under Putin, Russia began to recover economically because of a significant rise in oil prices, and Putin strengthened the Russian military which had become under-resourced in the 1990s. Slowly Russia recovered and with the Syria conflict was able to begin to become a significant regional player. Control over Syria would weaken Russia by taking out one of Putin’s key allies. Syria has been allied to Russia (previously USSR) for a long time.
A related motive for the West’s involvement is the possibility of putting a gas pipeline through Syria to Europe. Qatar proposed such a pipeline but Assad did not accept the Qatari plan. A pipeline through Syria would weaken Russia economically by reducing the reliance of Europe on Russian gas.
It goes without saying, of course, that none of the motives of the US have anything to do with freedom, democracy, or any other lie that they come up with to justify imperialism.
Douma: The Basic Narrative
The Douma ‘incident’ happened in April, 2018. The basic claim was that the Syrian Army had carried out a chemical attack, killing dozens of civilians in Douma.
The first piece of evidence presented for this was a video that was filmed by the White Helmets (purportedly a civil defense organisation but in reality strongly tied to the jihadists). This video claimed to show children at a hospital who had been attacked by a chemical weapon. It shows panic and children being doused in water. There is another White Helmets video which shows dead people at the scene. These videos were largely presented in an uncritical light by the mainstream media. Obviously they wanted to try to create an emotional response in the viewer, in order that critical questions were not asked.
The second piece of evidence that the mainstream media presented was photographs of cylinders taken at the scene. On the 15 April 2018, the Scottish Sun published an article with the headline “Damning new pics of gas cylinders at Syrian gassing scene as ‘toxin’ dossier emerges” showing these cylinders. They were presented as the source of the chemical attack.
The framing of mainstream media articles tended to assume the guilt of the Syrian army, while dismissing any Syrian or Russian claims that the attack was faked. The US, British and French responded to this ‘attack’ a few days later by an airstrike in Syria.
What the OPCW Claimed Happened
The OPCW released its report into the alleged Douma attack in March 2019. They summarised its findings as such:
Regarding the alleged use of toxic chemicals as a weapon in Douma, the evaluation and analysis of all the above-referenced information gathered by the FFM provide reasonable grounds that the use of a toxic chemical as a weapon has taken place on 7 April 2018. This toxic chemical contained reactive chlorine. The toxic chemical was likely molecular chlorine.
The report itself 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.
So important point number 1 is that the OPCW report concluded that the chlorine levels as the scene indicated that chlorine was used as a chemical weapon. They report no evidence of any other chemical weapons.
Important point number 2 is the cylinder analysis:
The analyses indicated that the structural damage to the rebar-reinforced concrete terrace at Location 2 was caused by an impacting object with a geometrically symmetric shape and sufficient kinetic energy to cause the observed damage. The analyses indicate that the damage observed on the cylinder found on the roof-top terrace, the aperture, the balcony, the surrounding rooms, the rooms underneath and the structure above, is consistent with the creation of the aperture observed in the terrace by the cylinder found in that location.
At Location 4, the results of the studies indicated that the shape of the aperture produced in the modulation matched the shape and damage observed by the team. The studies further indicated that, after passing through the ceiling and impacting the floor at lower speed, the cylinder continued an altered trajectory, until reaching the position in which it was found.
The OPCW stated in their summary that the Fact Finding Mission [FFM] did not assign blame for the gas attack. However, the analysis of the cylinders assigns implicit blame to the Syrian Arab Army. This is because the argument is that these cylinders were dropped from height, and only Assad’s forces would have had the air power capacity to carry this out.