Chemical Weapons in Syria: Methods of Waging Information Wars

by | Aug 9, 2016


The use of chemical weapons in Syria has absolutely no influence on the military situation on the ground. But it’s a good example of how propaganda wars are waged. Some Western media outlets seem to dance to the tune of terrorist groups. Here is the confirmation of this fact.

Reuters reported on August 2 that a helicopter dropped containers of toxic gas overnight on a town close to where a Russian military rotary wing aircraft had been shot down hours earlier.

According to the agency’s report, over 30 people, mostly women and children, were affected by the gas, which they suspect was chlorine, in Saraqeb, in rebel-held Idlib province. The opposition Syrian National Coalition (SNC) accused President Bashar al-Assad of being behind the attack.

That’s what information wars are all about. The news coming from Syria was sexed up. The agency circulated the unconfirmed reports received from the sources in the ranks of the so-called “moderate opposition” using any methods without hesitation as it fights the war. The only “evidence” produced was a video clip apparently showing two men standing over a man on a bed, making him sit up as he breathes through a mask in what is said to be in Saraqeb, Idlib province. The video was posted on YouTube by the group which describes itself as a neutral band of “search and rescue volunteers.”

The “helpers” are in civil defense uniforms. One of them has a large distinctive sign on his back to identify him with the White Helmets, a volunteer civil defense organization that operates throughout opposition-controlled Syria. The group is directly involved in trying overthrow Syria’s government. It is financed by the West and headed by James Le Mesurier, a retired British military intelligence officer with an impressive track record in Bosnia and Kosovo, Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestine. There is ample evidence to prove that the group has participated in executions of civilians by extremists.

It is important to note that Youtube has deleted the incriminating video of White Helmets working hand in hand with al-Qaeda.

At that nothing was reported about the type of the gas used. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the claims of chlorine usage were fabricated by the media.

US State Department spokesman John Kirby acknowledged that Washington is ”not in a position to confirm” the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime.

Nonetheless, he threateningly added that if the allegations were confirmed, it would be “extremely serious.”

The UN also failed to confirm this fact, but the ballyhoo raised by media has accomplished its mission – the information has been perceived by many as an indisputable fact just because it has been discussed and highlighted so much.

There was another chemical attack committed on August 2. Militants from the Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki group, considered by Washington as “moderate opposition”, launched poisonous materials from the Sukkari district towards the eastern part of Aleppo.

The territory is under rebel control. Shells were fired towards ”the residential area” of the Salah-Eddin district. Seven people were killed and 23 injured as a result of the attack, according to a statement from the Russian Ministry of Defense.

Unlike the Reuters information, this is a proven and undisputable fact, but the US State Department spokesman preferred to dodge the question.

He was not the only one to limit his comments to “expressing concern.”

The unconfirmed report of Reuters hit the radar screen, while the fact of chemical weapons use supported by ample evidence was treated as a story of secondary importance and kept out of spotlight.

The question is what was behind the Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki’s chemical attack? The Russia-supported Syrian forces are advancing in Aleppo. A coalition of Islamist rebel groups called “Jaish al-Fateh”, that includes Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, the former al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front, Ahrar al-Sham and other smaller groups, is trying to counter the attack. Seizing full control would be the biggest victory for Russia-supported Syrian government in five years of fighting and demonstrate the dramatic shift of fortunes in its favor since Russia joined the war last year.

The use of chemical weapons is an attempt to instill fear and distract some Syrian government forces from the Aleppo mission.

It should be noted that the chemical weapons used by extremists are produced in a high-tech lab in Mosul – the informal US area of responsibility.

Providing jihadists with weapons of mass destruction, the facility has been barely targeted by US airstrikes. It’s not a big thing to bomb it and stop the production, but it has not been done during two years since it was captured by extremists.

The Western mainstream outlets, including such well-known agencies as Reuters, waste no time or resources in distorting news pertaining to the war in Syria.

Whether it’s a success achieved by the Russia-supported Syrian army or another crime committed by terrorists, a humanitarian crisis or the use of weapons of mass destruction, Western mass media is always part of the battle against Damascus, particularly in a bid to shape public opinion with regards to the conflict.

This is another instance of how information battles are fought.

Reprinted with permission from the Strategic Culture Foundation.