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    Labels of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) are seen iside a damaged house in Douma in Damascus, Syria April 23, 2018

    US' False Claims About Douma Inquiry 'Part of Russia-Bashing Campaign' - Analyst

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    Radio Sputnik talked about the ongoing OPCW fact-finding mission in Syria over an alleged chemical attack in Douma, Washington's accusations toward Russia and the decision by the US to stop financing the White Helmets with Jon Rappoport, an American author and investigative reporter.

    Sputnik: The US State Department spokesperson had accused Russia and Syria of blocking OPCW experts' access to the site of the alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma. Now it is being reported that the experts were able to access the sights and collect samples. Now, do you think we could expect another statement from the State Department spokesperson on this and why?

    Jon Rappoport: Well, I think there are going to be waiting for the results. But, in the meantime, statements probably will be released on the side of "yes, it was a chemical attack launched by the Syrian government on its own people," because that has been the trend so far to make these pronouncements absent of any real evidence. So, I would assume this kind of public relations will continue all the way until we finally get to the OPCW report.

    Sputnik: What political or other goals is Washington trying to achieve by falsely accusing Moscow of blocking access to the site of the alleged chemical weapons attack?

    Jon Rappoport: Well, I think it's a part of the Russia-bashing campaign that has been going on for some time in the US, centering around Trump and his supposed collusion with Russia. This has escalated, as I'm sure many of your audience know, to unprecedented heights in the US media for a long time. So, this is just another piece of that.

    Sputnik: Now, the US has announced that it plans to withdraw financing for the White Helmets, the NGO that madethe allegations of the Syrian government was behind the attack in Douma. Why, in your view, was this decision made now?

    Jon Rappoport: I'm not sure. The US has been supporting the White Helmets fantasy for some time, claiming that these people are an organic development inside Syria when, in fact, that organization, the White Helmets, has been receiving outside funding, funding from outside Syria, including a Public Relations campaign, apparently, from a group in the UK called "The Voices Project."

    READ MORE: UK to Continue Support of White Helmets in Syria — Foreign Office

    People have to understand that the White Helmets didn't just arrive on the scene with tremendous publicity by accident. I mean, there are many groups inside Syria. So, for example, in the US media, coverage of the White Helmets, which has been extremely positive, has grown up in the media as result of a public relations campaign staged on behalf of these White Helmets. So, I'm a little puzzled as to why the funding has been withdrawn. Perhaps, somebody suddenly realized that this group is suspect.

    Sputnik: The UK has announced that it will strengthen its international coalition against Russia. Do you think that this could result in more provocations against Moscow? What political goal is London pursuing by doing this? Why the UK is holding such a strong line against Russia now?

    Jon Rappoport: Well, I think part of the reason, at least, is because Russia has exposed the UK as being a participant in cooking up evidence, fake evidence, that this chemical attack was launched by the Syrian government. And so, this is a kind of retaliation against that. "We have to, we must consider Russia as our implacable enemy, no conversation or communication is going to change that" — this kind of attitude. When in fact, why would Assad have launched a chemical attack? This has now happened twice. On the verge of winning his war, this is really preposterous. And there are so many other points to the evidence here that are beyond questionable. I mean, I'm interested in knowing for example: when you launch a missile attack on a chemical warfare storage facility, what happens to all the chemical weapons that explode? Why have we not heard about the spread of toxic substances out into the environment as result of these missile attacks?

    The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the expert and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    Related:

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    OPCW Experts Take Probes at Site of Alleged Douma Attack - Zakharova
    Mine Clearance in Syria’s Douma to Last for Months, Russian Military Says
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    inquiry, chemical attack, Douma, Syria, Russia, United States
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