21:24 GMT28 October 2020
Listen Live
    Get short URL
    Chemical Weapons Incident in Syria’s Idlib Province (170)

    A CNN report blaming Bashar al-Assad for the alleged chemical attack in the Syrian province of Idlib apparently serves as a vivid illustration of how the mainstream media spins a story to advance a certain narrative, even if it is not supported by facts, experts told Sputnik.

    On April 13, the TV channel reported that the Pentagon and the US intelligence community intercepted communications involving the Syrian Arab Army and chemical experts discussing arrangements for a sarin attack. The media outlet cited an unnamed senior US official as the source of the news.

    In an interview with Radio Sputnik, political analyst Semyon Uralov described the situation as "information postmodernism."

    "It does not matter what happened. The only thing that matters is how the news item is covered and to what extent things get blown out of proportion," he explained. "There will be more similar news stories because the United States has persistently moved toward achieving its goal. Washington wants to push Assad into a corner. I think that additional pictures will appear, as well as 'eyewitness' accounts because this is a propaganda issue. When it comes to propaganda it is the interpretation that matters, not the facts."

    The use of toxic substances on the outskirts of Khan Shaykhun, a town in the Idlib province, has been a major point of contention between Damascus, Washington and their allies. Senior US and European officials have blamed Bashar al-Assad for the attack, but have failed to provide any evidence to support their view. Nevertheless, several days later President Donald Trump authorized a massive airstrike on the Shayrat air base, operated by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA). Washington claimed that the facility was ostensibly used to store toxic substances and launch a chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun.

    The Syrian leadership and the SAA command denied using chemical weapons against civilians, saying that radical armed fighters and their sponsors were responsible for what happened in Idlib.

    The Russian Defense Ministry also said that Damascus did not use chemical weapons since the Assad government destroyed these armaments under a deal brokered by Moscow and Washington in 2013. The ministry explained that the Syrian Arab Air Force hit a large militant ammunition depot, which stored military hardware, as well as chemical weapons intended for Iraq.  

    "Intelligence officers are usually trying to learn what is happening and what will take place in the future in a particular area. The US intelligence community is more focused on the past. And they always find what they need or at least something similar. This is called 'fudging the facts,'" journalist Olga Bugrova wrote for Sputnik.

    Bugrova further noted that the logic of CNN's report was unsound.

    "The TV channel with its respected sources has once again offered to 'solve' a problem the wrong way about. If there is a 'horrible' Assad, then he must have dreadful weapons which he would necessarily use in an attack," she said. "Meanwhile, the international coalition bombed a warehouse storing chemical weapons of a terrorist group banned in Russia. The Syrian General Staff confirmed that hundreds of militants and sadly civilians died from poisoning in the Deir ez-Zor province. However, this story has not been extensively covered by CNN, whose respected sources have also refrained from commenting on it."

    On April 13, the Syrian Arab Army said that the US-led coalition carried out an airstrike, targeting a Daesh warehouse in Deir ez-Zor. White and yellow clouds were visible following the attack, pointing to the presence of toxic substances in the area.

    "This confirms that Daesh and al-Nusra terrorists possess chemical weapons and are capable of using, obtaining and transporting it," the SAA said.

    Never miss a story again — sign up to our Telegram channel and we'll keep you up to speed!

    Chemical Weapons Incident in Syria’s Idlib Province (170)


    Russian Lawmaker Prompts OPCW to Launch Idlib Attack Probe in Coming Days
    Syria Cannot Counter Info War on Idlib Chemical Incident Alone - Assad's Aide
    Russia Refutes Claims of Involvement in Idlib Incident - Envoy to OPCW
    UNSC Partners' Evasion of Claimed Syria Chemical Attack Probe Worrying - Lavrov
    mainstream media, chemical attack, chemical weapons, Daesh, Syrian Arab Army, Russian Defense Ministry, Idlib, Syria, US
    Community standardsDiscussion