by JW Williams
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the global chemical weapons watchdog, issued a report stating that it found zero evidence that sarin nerve gas was used in an attack reported by the dubious al-Qaeda-linked White Helmets NGO group in Douma, near Damascus, in April. Russia and independent reporters provided evidence that it was a staged event. A young boy who was featured in a viral video that claimed to treat victims of the alleged attack testified that he has not been poisoned and he did not know why he was sprayed with water at a hospital.
The United States, Britain and France blamed Syrian government forces and launched punitive airstrikes, and nearly went to war with Russia. The OPCW did find traces of chlorine chemicals in two facilities, but said that there was no indication that the locations were being used to produce chemical weapons.
Russia insisted that the OPCW investigate the event, and militants shot at them upon their arrival. Russia Today has supplied an interview with James Tour, a professor of organic chemistry who said that the traces of chlorine compounds found by the OPCW are common in industrial sites and has nothing to do with chemical weapons. The BBC misrepresented that OPCW report by claiming it proved chemical weapons were used, but they retracted their false report and state that the watchdog has yet to draw final conclusions.
Last month, President Trump signed off on the release of $6.6 million to the White Helmets, an NGO that holds itself out as a rescue group in Syria. AntiWar says that the White Helmets falsely claims it gets no funding from the US government. In reality the organization gets about 1/3 of its funding from the State Department. This is important because the White Helmets are often the lone source of questionable allegations which support US government allegations against the Syrian government.