Russian Claims of a "False Flag" Chemical Weapons Attack in Douma, Syria

Mick West

Staff member
When Alex Jones talks about a "false flag" attack it's usually something ridiculous, like the idea that the Sandy Hook shooting was staged, or the Boston Marathon Bombings were fake — things claimed only by extreme conspiracy theorists. But the latest theory he's pushing is no wild concoction of idle minds, but is instead straight from the highest levels of the Russian Government.
Russian appears to have some foreknowledge that something like this was going to happen:

The idea that the White Helmets (a volunteer organization that carries out urban search and rescue after bombings, as well as other civil defense work) is somehow fake (or terrorist) has achieved some traction. A few days ago former Pink Floyd frontman Rodger Waters joined in, telling the crowd at a concert in Barcelona
The latter part of his message resonates with a lot of people — not particularly be cause they trust Russia (or know anything about the White Helmets), but because they are opposed to a rush towards military action, and possibly war. I've seen similar things being shared by my UK friends and relatives.

This "White Helmets are jihadist/imperialist propagandists" part seems to get accepted because it's attached to something people are in favor of (anti-war, anti-Tory, or anti-Israel), but multiple investigations conclude that this is largely the result of a Russian propaganda campaign. even the left-leaning Guardian newspaper:

Germany's Der Spiegel
[German, Google translation]
Who is Vanessa Beeley? This brings us back toward Alex Jones, according to the Guardian:
21stcenturywire is a pro-Russian conspiracy theory site, and appears as a key node in this analysis linking it to Russian propaganda outlets and

21stcenturywire is not a credible source. For example it suggests that no plane hit the Pentagon, Sandy Hook was a scripted event, and it even supports the chemtrails theory. And yet its editor, Beeley is one of the main sources of the claims against the White Helmets. To the extent that a "report" by her (largely citing herself) was submitted to the United Nations by the Russian ambassador.

The stakes here are vastly higher than the usual raft of conspiracy theories about historical events. This is an ongoing conflict, a proxy war with the potential of significant escalation. While there may well have been a overly hasty push for a military response from the west, Russia is clearly operating a sophisticated propaganda campaign.

A good question here is why Syria (and by extension Russia) would carry out a chemical attack when there was no military advantage from doing so, and there would likely be repercussions. But if they planned all along to blame it on the west and the White Helmets as part of some global anti-Russian conspiracy, then the best time to do it for propaganda purposes would be when it was the least advantageous for military purposes.



Agent K

Senior Member
Rebel fighters began leaving Douma after the chemical attack. Perhaps that was the objective of the attack, to smoke out the holdouts.
"Rebel fighters begin leaving Syria's Douma after weeks-long military assault"

Assad may have been emboldened after the West didn't respond to smaller chlorine gas attacks, and after the Russian military said it would respond to U.S. strikes on Syria.

Even the latest Western air strikes in response to the chemical attack didn't have much effect, according to defense experts like Anthony Cordesman.
Assad may have miscalculated that the West wouldn't respond to a chemical attack, or calculated that a quick defeat of Douma is worth the risk of limited Western airstrikes.

Agent K

Senior Member
Eliot Higgins called out mainstream publications for promoting chemical attack denialism.



You wrote:

He seems to suggest that the chance of a false flag is possible, and that Assad lacked the motive for the use of such weapons. He also seems confident in his assessment that the White Helmets are not the most trustworthy source of information. Simply due to the fact that they operate in only rebel held territory seems to discard their impartiality.
This is part of Russia’s standard misinformation and agitprop. Because the White Helmets are primarily funded by the UK, USA, other western governments and the UN it is standard for Russia to make every effort to discredit them.

The reason they operate primarily in rebel held regions does not reflect on their impartiality. They operate in these areas simply because they are the areas being shelled and bombed. The various rebel groups have no airpower and very little artillery so it is not the government held areas that are subjected to bombing or shelling.

If you need to fish go where the fish are.

If they are partial then they are doing a convincing job of hiding it as about 160 of them have been killed. A rare occurrence for a false flag.
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Active Member
Robert Fisk from the Independent claims to have visit Douma and also havent found any evidence for a chlorine-gas-attack according to locals:

as for the "white helmets" reads:
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Mick West

Staff member
Robert Fisk from the Independent claims to have visit Douma and also havent found any evidence for a chlorine-gas-attack according to locals:

as for the "white helmets" reads:

You miss some relevant context there

The account given is "what all the doctors know", but not something he himself saw.

Frisk also wrote (in 2007):
Which seems to indicate a certain preference for questioning the official account at the expense of objectivity.

Agent K

Senior Member
Bellingcat's analysis


Active Member
Frisk also wrote (in 2007):
Which seems to indicate a certain preference for questioning the official account at the expense of objectivity
*sigh* yes, absolutly.


From a comment from the analysis of bellingcat (

that was 2013; did I miss something?!?
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Agent K

Senior Member
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