Mass Murder in the Covid Era: The Continuation of Imperialism in ‘The Middle of a Deadly Pandemic’

[Image from the Army recruitment office in Birmingham City Centre]

Introduction

Western governments have been obsessively pushing the narrative that Covid-19 is an extremely dangerous pathogen that is killing millions of people worldwide. People who do not agree with this official narrative have been demonised as murderers. However, Western governments’ policies of killing innocent people abroad have continued unabated despite the alleged ‘deadly pandemic’. Destruction of vital infrastructure such as hospitals and the creation of refugees could only inflame a real pandemic. This continuing imperialist murder in itself thus belies the entire Covid Narrative.

Afghanistan

There are multiple countries in which the US and their allies are continuing a murderous foreign policy. I will start, however, by addressing Afghanistan, as according to the official narrative, the US government ‘ended the war in Afghanistan’ by withdrawing and allowing the Taliban to take over from the US backed government in Kabul.

Even on the official narrative, however, this withdrawal did not take place until mid-2021. In other words, over a year into the alleged ‘deadliest pandemic in a century’. Even according to the official logic, killing people in Afghanistan was fine while people in the West were under lockdowns to ‘save lives’.

And yes, the US government was continuing to murder civilians. On August 29 the US government carried out a drone strike in which 10 civilians were killed. This included a 3-year-old girl.

Yemen

The mass murder of civilians in Yemen has been policy for several years. Saudi Arabia is waging war on the country, with assistance (such as selling weapons and being part of Saudi control centres) from the US and UK governments.

In fact, certain actions taken during the Yemen war have been designed to spread pathogens. According to a study published by the NIH:

The Yemen cholera outbreak has been driven by years of conflict and has now [December 2018] become the largest in epidemiologically recorded history with more than 1.2 million cases since the beginning of the outbreak in April, 2017. 

This hasn’t stopped the coalition bombing cholera treatment centres, however:

A military coalition formally led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and supported by the United States and Britain, bombed a newly constructed cholera treatment in Yemen on Monday, June 11.

The bombing of Yemen has continued throughout the Covid 19 ‘pandemic’. There are multiple examples of this continuing warfare.

This article from November 2021, for example:

This week, dozens of people were killed and injured near the Yemen-Saudi border when U.S.-made warplanes and French-made howitzer cannons fired unabated on many populated border areas in Sadaa and Hajjah — including the Monabeh, Sahar, alSafra, al-Dhaher and Sheda areas. Samer Manea Ali Hussein, a 15-year-old Yemeni boy, was killed along with others on Monday when a French-made howitzer cannon hit a village in the Monabeh region, one of Yemen’s border areas that are subjected to daily bombardment.

Whereas this article highlights the fact that the US is still supporting Saudi bombing campaigns in 2021:

“The United States continues to provide maintenance support to Saudi Arabia’s Air Force given the critical role it plays in Saudi air defense and our longstanding security partnership,” a Pentagon spokesperson told Vox over the weekend.

The maintenance is done through the Pentagon’s Foreign Military Sales program, which means Saudi Arabia pays the US to provide contractors that can maintain the warplanes.

Syria

Another conflict that is still ongoing is that in Syria. The US government has been trying for 10 years to remove Assad from power using proxy forces in Syria. These forces are Islamist extremists who want to impose a Islamist society on secular Syria.

The terrorist forces in Syria have inflicted terrible suffering on Syrian civilians, and Western governments have imposed sanctions which have inflicted further suffering. Many of these sanctions have affected the medical system and the health of the population:

Sanctions have, as I wrote last December, impacted Syria’s ability to import medicines or the raw materials needed to manufacture them, medical equipment, and machines and materials needed to manufacture prosthetic limbs, among other things.

Syria reports that the latest sanctions are already preventing civilians from acquiring “imported drugs, especially antibiotics, as some companies have withdrawn their licenses granted to drug factories,” due to the sanctions.

US troops have continued to maintain an illegal presence in Syria despite the clear opposition of the Assad government and Syrian people to this occupation.

In 2018, Whitney Webb wrote that:

Currently, the U.S. occupies nearly a third of Syrian territory — around 30 percent — including much of the area east of the Euphrates River, encompassing large swaths of the Deir Ezzor, Al-Hasakah and Raqqa regions.

According to this article at least 900 troops remain in Syria as of July 2021. According to the official narrative this is to support the Syrian Democratic Forces fighting ISIS. (In reality the SDF is simply another US proxy designed to weaken and Balkanise Syria). These troops have been accused of plundering resources by the Syrian government (as they happen to be conveniently occupying the areas of Syria that have the most oil).

Israel has also been repeatedly bombing Syria, for example this airstrike in Homs that killed 2 civilians and injured 6 members of the Syrian Arab Army. They are also continuing their presence in the Golan Heights which they have been illegally occupying since 1967.

Palestine

The criminal actions against the Palestinian people by the US backed Israeli government have been happening for decades and are continuing to happen during the alleged pandemic.

For example, in July 2021, the Israeli armed forces attacked Al-Aqsa mosque, an extremely significant site in Islam:

Heavily armed Israeli occupation police forces, making way for illegal settler extremists to storm the site, violently removed Palestinian worshippers from the al-Aqsa mosque compound. The Israeli forces shot tear gas and rubber bullets, as well as other munitions, at elderly worshippers during prayer and proceeded to violently assault unarmed women.

Israeli settler violence has continued, as well as the expansion of settlements.

So What Does This Mean for the Official Covid Narrative?

The continuation of mass murder abroad fatally undermines the Official Covid Narrative. The elite reasons for lockdown were allegedly to keep the population ‘safe from a deadly virus’. Now, the elites are clearly not very concerned about the deaths from a deadly virus among those in Yemen, Afghanistan, and other countries they have continued to bomb and sanction. The Western countries – despite claiming to be spending all their efforts and resources upon ‘fighting Covid-19’ – clearly still have a large amount of resources left over to bomb and kill people abroad.

It goes further than this, however. Their narrative that ‘no-one is safe until all of us are safe’ – referring to the necessity for the whole population of the world to be ‘vaccinated’ against Covid-19 – is in complete contradiction to their actions in places such as Yemen. Destruction of hospital infrastructure and sanctions make it much for difficult to carry out the (in the eyes of the establishment) necessary ‘vaccination’ programs to ensure that we are all ‘safe from the deadly pandemic’. And the fact that Yemen or Syria are far away countries isn’t relevant either – what with the racist fearmongering about ‘variants emerging in India/Africa where people aren’t vaccinated’. If ‘no one is safe until everyone is safe’ why is medical infrastructure in Yemen being destroyed?

The imperialist wars in the Middle East (as well as the previous destruction of Libya) also fuel migration crises. While the governments of the West were putting their populations under house arrest because going out ‘spreads the virus’ they were forcing people to flee their homes due to bombings, thus, on their own narrative, spreading the virus.

Conclusion

There have been no significant changes to the murderous imperialist foreign policy due to the Covid-19 ‘pandemic’. The Covid-19 narrative has been used as a shield to hide these foreign policy decisions by distracting the public. The continuing bombings and sanctions, however, are clear evidence that the elite does not care about the health of the population.

Douma Primer Part 3: Establishment Denial

The mainstream media, which promoted the narrative of ‘Assad gassing his own people’ early on, has refused to acknowledge the facts and evidence which point to a false flag at Douma. Instead, they either ignore the evidence or double down on the false ‘gas attack’ narrative.

As far as I am aware, the only reporters in the UK mainstream media to raise any questions about the OPCW scandal are the late Robert Fisk in the Independent and Peter Hitchens in the Mail on Sunday. In the US, the only reporter I am aware of who has questioned the narrative is Fox News host Tucker Carlson. This is despite the fact that political corruption at the OPCW should be a massive scandal.

The Douma case is a clear example of the fact that our media serves the establishment and not the people, and that they are complicit in covering up for establishment crimes.

In this article I am going to tackle the case of George Monbiot, an alleged anti-establishment journalist who follows the establishment line on Douma.

The Case of George Monbiot

Before I get into Monbiot’s opinion on Douma, I’d like to examine an article Monbiot wrote several years ago called ‘Choose Life‘.

I used to be rather a fan of Monbiot around 12 or so years ago. I even own a few of his books and used to regularly read the Guardian. That’s how I originally found that article. I want to talk about it because it gives an interesting insight into how Monbiot sees himself.

The article is about giving careers advice to young people looking to get into journalism. In it, Monbiot is very keen to promote anti-establishment ideas, and prioritise speaking the truth over money. He encourages young people to get out there and cover what they actually want to talk about rather than using conventional means to work their way up the journalism ladder. He talks about holding on to your dreams and learning to live off the smallest amount of money that you possibly can in order to become less reliant on the system. He ends the article by saying that the editor of the Times may have more wealth than you do, but that he is just a cog in the system who has far less freedom than yourself (if you follow Monbiot’s sage advice).

Now you might think, well how does he reconcile that with working for The Guardian? After all, The Guardian is part of the British establishment. Well, he says that there might be niches in the corporate world for you to fulfill your dreams so long as you are careful and always make sure these opportunities aren’t leading you away from where you want to be.

Of course, what I find interesting is that he proves his own argument in the strongest possible terms: if you work for the establishment then you will end up being bent to what the establishment wants you to say. They may allow dissent on minor issues in some cases or the occasional decent article to make them look more credible (though even the space for this seems to be decreasing). But on the big issues – war and imperialism being one of those – dissent is very rare.

Monbiot has been promoting the establishment line on Syria for several years now. Monbiot will claim – when he is called out for repeating deep state talking points – that he opposes Western intervention in Syria and thus he is not supporting the establishment position. This argument ignores the fact that by repeating the deep state lies about Syria, he is manufacturing consent for war regardless. A weak ‘but I don’t support war’ tacked on at the end does nothing to change that.

Not only that, Monbiot seems to have a lot of time to argue with people online about Syria. If you search ‘Syria’ from tweets from his account, you end up with quite a few of them. There is a whole list of tweets attacking the ‘Assad apologists’ who criticise his position. Some of them are ridiculous strawmen such as claiming that sceptics of official narratives on Syria are “keen to believe that Bashar al-Assad’s government is purer than the driven snow”, a claim no one has made. Narrative sceptics are “Russian bots, outright fascists and leftist tankies” rather than people who think the evidence just doesn’t stack up. People who question the White Helmets are, of course, “conspiracy theorists”.

One of his arguments is to smear those who focus on Douma as, you guessed it, ‘Assad apologists’.

“Say, for the sake of argument, there wasn’t a CW attack at Douma (unlikely to be true, in view of the evidence). It would be one great crime Assad had not committed, against tens of thousands he has. Yet this is the issue you obsess about. Why? Because you’re apologists.”

Of course, this argument is completely wrong. Monbiot (deliberately in my opinion) fails to make the connection between the Douma narrative and the push for war by the West. The Douma narrative was directly used to justify bombing Syria. This means that it is crucially important whether or not the claim is a lie. If the US & UK were using some other claim as an excuse to bomb Syria, then that claim would be the one coming under the most scrutiny. (Of course if we examined some other imperialist argument, Monbiot would be sitting here making the same case about that claim instead.) This arguments is the equivalent of saying ‘Why are you all obsessing over WMDs in Iraq, even if Hussein doesn’t have them, he did all these other crimes!’. There are other important aspects to this issue as well, notably whether or not the OPCW is politically compromised. This is vitally important as if the institution is compromised then we have to re-examine all chemical weapons claims in the light of this political bias. None of it is about ‘obsessing’ over Douma because we are ‘apologists’.

Why talk about Douma now?

The final point I would like to make in this series is that it is still important that people know the truth about Douma. The British, French and American governments bombed Syria on the basis of a fraudulent claim that Assad did a gas attack in Douma. Accountability for government lies is important.

The Douma case is also a good example of how the media covers up for those lies by refusing to report upon the claims of credible whistleblowers such as Ian Henderson. Alleged left wingers such as Monbiot are further recruited in order to put forward the ‘left wing’ case for establishment lies.

The Douma Primer Part 2: The Avalanche of Evidence the ‘Attack’ was Staged

This is the second part on my series on the Douma false flag ‘chemical attack’. Please read Part 1 if you have not already for an outline of the Syria conflict and the establishment and OPCW narrative about this ‘chemical attack’. Part 2 will consider 6 main points of evidence and argument showing why the Douma attack was staged. As a cumulative case they form a very strong argument for this position.

1. The Logic of the ‘Attack’: Nonexistent

The first problem with the claim that Assad carried out a chemical attack in Douma is basic logic.

At this point in the Syrian conflict, the jihadists were clearly losing the war. Syrian and Russian forces had successfully defeated the jihadists in many areas of the country; one of the most significant of these was the Syrian Army’s victory in Aleppo. Conventional weapons were doing a perfectly good job at defeating the jihadists. It follows that there was simply no rational purpose for a gas attack at this point of the conflict, nor any significant motivation for Assad to randomly attack civilians. Furthermore, Assad is keenly aware of the fact that the West is looking to demonise his government and that any chemical attack will be used as a motivation to intervene further in Syria.

On the other hand, the failing rebels had a strong motive to fake a chemical weapons attack. They could attempt to use the international outrage in order to try and get the West further involved in the conflict and save their weak position. The West would also have a further incentive to promote this faked gas attack as real to justify the vilification of Assad as an ‘animal’ who needs to be overthrown.

Logic alone thus suggests that we should be sceptical of the official narrative, unless one wants to make the baseless claim that Assad is an irrational maniac. Now of course, if there was strong evidence for the position that Assad really did gas his own people, we would just have to accept that he is in fact an irrational leader who doesn’t understand military strategy or a maniac who enjoys killing for the sake of it. But there is no evidence for this as we shall see.

2. The Syrian Witnesses State: No Chemical Attack

At the OPCW in the Hague not long after the alleged attack (26 April 2018), Syrian witnesses stated that there was no chemical attack and that the hospital scene was staged.

Hassan Diab, an 11-year old boy who appeared in the White Helmets video filmed at the hospital, stated that: “We were at the basement and we heard people shouting that we needed to go to a hospital. We went through a tunnel. At the hospital they started pouring cold water on me.”

Several others also testified. Ahmad Kashoi said: “There were people unknown to us who were filming the emergency care, they were filming the chaos taking place inside, and were filming people being doused with water. The instruments they used to douse them with water were originally used to clean the floors actually. That happened for about an hour, we provided help to them and sent them home. No one has died. No one suffered from chemical exposure.”

The counter argument to this point is to claim that the testimony of the witnesses at the Hague was a ‘Russian stunt’. Of course, the Russian government is not any more trustworthy than any other government. The idea that the Russian government somehow got ordinary Syrians to give false testimony to the OPCW was, of course, possible. There is no evidence for that position, though, and the argument that the attack was staged has only increased with the passage of time.

3. BBC Reporter Admits White Helmets Video was Staged

In Feb 2019, BBC Producer Riam Dalati stated that he believed the Douma hospital scene (described in Part 1) was staged.

“After almost 6 months of investigations, I can prove without a doubt that the Douma Hospital scene was staged. No fatalities occurred in the hospital.” Dalati wrote on his Twitter account. He later made the account private. For clarity, Dalati did believe that there was some sort of attack in Douma but that there was no evidence of the chemical agent Sarin (throughout the discussion of the Douma ‘attack’ there was a significant ambiguity over whether the chemical agent was Sarin or chlorine. Dalati’s position stated that no Sarin was used and whether chlorine was used would have to wait for the OPCW report which had not yet been released).

The reason that this is particularly notable is that this is a producer working at the BBC, an establishment media outlet that has promotied the official narrative on the Syria conflict and Douma. Many people dismiss evidence on the question that is raised by someone who works for RT, for example, because they say that they are promoting the Russian government’s opinion. A BBC producer stating things against the official narrative is harder for them to dismiss, though of course, the British MSM ignored this story.

4. The Henderson Report

This leaked report, written by a member of the OPCW Douma Fact Finding Mission, is beyond damning. If the first three points of evidence mentioned so far are suggestive of a staged attack, the Henderson report tears the Assad gas attack narrative to shreds.

This report was first leaked in May 2019 to the website Syria Propaganda and Media, a site run by academics sceptical of the official Syria narrative.

The Henderson report analyses the cylinders said to have possibly been the source of chlorine in the offical report. It proceeds to put forward two possible hypotheses about the cylinders at the two locations: that the cylinders were dropped from a helicopter and contained chlorine (i.e. the establishment narrative that an Assad gas attack took place), and the hypothesis that the cylinders were manually placed in their locations (i.e. the staged hypothesis).

The report looks at factors such as whether the cylinders being dropped from height can account for the damage observed at the scenes that the two cylinders were found (locations 2 and 4). The study does this through the usage of simulations.

The analysis of the cylinder at Location 2 found that the damage to the cylinder was not consistent with what would have been expected to have been observed had the cylinder been dropped from height. It also concluded that the crater in which the cylinder was placed was more likely caused by a mortar or similar explosion. Location 4 also showed similar inconsistencies, such as the cylinder showing an implausibly high amount of corrosion, and that the damage to the cylinder was unlikely on the aircraft hypothesis.

Henderson concludes: “Observations at the scene of the two locations, together with subsequent analysis, suggest that there is a higher probability that both cylinders were manually placed at those two locations rather than being delivered from aircraft.”

Or, to summarise this in another way, the ‘staged’ hypothesis is more plausible than the ‘Assad gas attack’ hypothesis according to the ballistic evidence.

5. The Wikileaks Documents

That, however, was not the end of the leaked documents relating to this scandal. In November 2019 an internal OPCW email was leaked to WikiLeaks.

This email was addressed to Robert Fairweather, Chief of Cabinet, and was written by a member of the FFM team on the ground in Douma. It compared the initial drafted report to the final (redacted) report that was released to the public and expressed multiple concerns about how the evidence was presented in the final report. It argues that the final report’s conclusion that it is ‘likely’ that chlorine was released from cylinders is grossly overstated.
The email says that while it was possible that chlorine was released from cylinders at loacations 2 and 4, there “was insufficient evidence to confirm this.” The final report also overstates the level of chlorine found in the atmosphere at the scene, claiming that ‘high’ levels were detected when in reality only trace quantities were found.

The draft report also contained evidence regarding observed symptoms which was redacted from the final report. The observed symptoms were not consistent with chlorine exposure. The email also notes how Henderson’s evidence regarding the ballistics of the cylinders was excluded from the final report.

Another document was leaked on the 14th December. This is a memo addressed to the Director General at the OPCW. It states that the “FFM report does not reflect the views of all the team members that deployed to Douma. Only one FFM team member (a paramedic) of the so-called ‘FFM core team’ was in Douma.”

It states that “The consensus within the FFM team was that there were serious incionsistencies in findings. After the exclusion of all team members other than a small cadre of members that who had deployed (and deployed again in October 2018) to Country X, the conclusion appears to have turned completely in the opposite direction.”

There were also other documents released by Wikileaks but this covers the main points: that evidence against the ‘Assad gas attack’ narrative was suppressed.

6. Ian Henderson is a Credible Source

At this stage, it is looking very bad for those who want to maintain the ‘Assad gas attack’ narrative. One way they attempt to get out of this problem and maintain their narrative is to suggest that individuals like Ian Henderson are simply ‘disgruntled employees’ who shouldn’t be listened to. The Director General of the OPCW stated that the Douma whistleblowers were “individuals who could not accept that their views were not backed by evidence.”

The OPCW claimed that Henderson “was not a member of the FFM” and had a “minor supportive role”. In fact this is a complete lie, and more leaks, this time to Aaron Mate of the Grayzone demonstrate this fact.

Firstly, documents show that Henderson was listed as a member of the team. Even worse for the OPCW, another leaked document shows that the organisation was happy for Henderson to lead visits to the locations of the cylinders if that became necessary. Documents from within the OPCW also show that Henderson was considered to be an excellent inspector who “can expect to be selected to lead the most demanding and sensitive assignments.”

Conclusion

This cascade of evidence is looking extremely bad for those who want to maintain the fiction that Assad gassed his own people at Douma and that this imperialist narrative is supported by evidence. Part 3 will discuss the logical contortions of those who want to maintain this false narrative.

The Douma Primer Part 1: The Official Narrative

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.

and

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.