via Russia Insider:
A preliminary report published Friday by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) found no traces of any nerve agent at the site of a suspected chemical attack in the Syrian city of Douma. The OPCW report states this unambiguously as follows:
“No organophosphorous nerve agents or their degradation products were detected in the environmental samples or in the plasma samples taken from alleged casualties.”
Compare the newly published official OPCW findings with the 5-page White House assessment released on April 13th, just days after the alleged attack. Now contradicted by the new OPCW findings, the White House asserted that sarin was used at Douma,
Firebrand British MP George Galloway responded as follows moments after the OPCW’s findings were made public:
Was that, was that the news? What about Douma? The chemical weapons attack? The nerve agent bombs that rained down on Douma that took us to the brink of World War 3?
The OPCW have just reported, well two hours ago… There was no nerve gas attack on Douma. There was no nerve agent deployed on Douma. We were taken to World War 3’s brink on a crock. A crock of vile propaganda. Ring any bells?
No Nerve Agents, Concludes OPCW Report
The April 7th alleged chemical attack, widely blamed by Western countries and the media on Assad’s forces, resulted in massive US-led retaliatory airstrikes mostly concentrated on suspected chemical production facilities in Damascus.
Though at the time both UN and OPCW officials urged caution in the rush to blame “animal Assad” for “using nerve agents” as many world headlines breathlessly concluded a mere moments after videos purporting to show scores of chemical attack victims first surfaced (and though CW experts themselves warned that not a single neutral observer was on the ground to verify such claims when it happened), the latest OPCW report flatly contradicts the narrative that quickly solidified in the mainstream.
— Malinka🔸(Tanya P.) (@Malinka1102) 6 July 2018
Nerve agents like sarin were quickly associated in headlines with unverified allegations of a chlorine attack, for example in the following major UK headline a day after the incident: Syrian government accused of using nerve agents as death toll from Douma ‘chemical weapons attack’ rises.
Like dozens of others, the story uncritically promoted the following:
With images of women and children foaming from the mouth and nose circulating on social media, the death toll from Saturday evening’s attack on the town was said to have risen to at least 49, with some observers saying more than 150 people have been killed.
This as the White House said it had “very high confidence” the Syrian government carried out the attack, basing its assessment, as MSNBC reported at the time, in part on the following: “blood and urine samples obtained by the U.S. from victims of the chemical strike tested positive for chlorine gas and a nerve agent.”