US Reporter in Douma: Nobody Heard or Saw Anything Like a ‘Chemical Attack’

© AFP 2022 / Msallam ABDALBASETSyrian civil defence volunteers, known as the White Helmets, search for survivors following reported government airstrike on the rebel-held neighbourhood of Tishrin, on the northeastern outskirts of the capital Damascus
Syrian civil defence volunteers, known as the White Helmets, search for survivors following reported government airstrike on the rebel-held neighbourhood of Tishrin, on the northeastern outskirts of the capital Damascus - Sputnik International
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An American journalist who gained access to the war-torn town of Douma, where the US, France and the UK charged that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons against civilians, says he found “no evidence” of a chemical weapons attack.

"We were brought in with a government escort and shown the areas where the chemical attack allegedly happened. We were able to speak with residents in the area. We were even able to visit the hospital where the White Helmets showed the videos of people being hosed down," reporter Pearson Sharp of OAN revealed in a report from the ground in Syria Monday.

"When I went into the town, we didn't know what to expect, but we were brought to one of the neighborhoods close to where the attack happened. I spoke with a number of residents, probably about 10 residents in that neighborhood. This was about a block and a half from where the attack supposedly happened… Um, not one of the people I had spoken to in that neighborhood said that they had seen anything or heard anything about a chemical attack on that day [Saturday, April 7]," Sharp said.

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The reporter said he later spoke with another 30 to 40 residents of the town. "I went up to random people. I know there's a lot of concern from people that the residents being interviewed are plants — they're Russian operatives or they're staged interviews or things like that. We just randomly went up to different people — nobody came up to us — and interviewed probably 30 to 40 people. Consistently, not one person in the town said they heard anything about an attack," Sharp said.

​"When I asked them what they thought the chemical attack was, they told me — all of them — it was staged by the rebels who were occupying the town at that time. They said it was a fabrication or a hoax. When I asked why, they told me it was because the rebels were desperate and needed a ploy to help the get the Syrian Army off their back so they could escape," he continued.

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"Residents told me the terrorists staged this to get Western powers to attack the Syrian Army, so they could escape."

Following the alleged incident in Douma, Trump, UK Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron authorized a military operation to fire missiles at a chemical research facility near Damascus, a weapons storage site and a command base on Friday night. Damascus and Moscow maintain that there was no chemical attack by the Syrian state in Douma.

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