Eliot Higgins Profile picture
Aug 25, 2018 10 tweets 6 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
With new claims from @mod_russia about false flag chemical attacks being prepared by opposition groups in Idlib, it's worth remembering this similar claim from March where they claimed the same thing about Deraa. CW attacks reported in Deraa? None.
A month earlier @mod_Russia claimed they had received a detailed tip off about another false flag chlorine attack being prepared in Saraqib, Idlib. Again, no such attack took place.
And another claim from @mod_russia from June about another false flag chemical attack being prepared, which didn't occur. The Russian government repeatedly makes false claims like this to lay the groundwork for future denials and conspiracy theories. sputniknews.com/middleeast/201…
Yesterday we have another claim from @mod_russia that a false flag chemical attack is being prepared, again claiming the White Helmets are involved, part of their attempts to demonise the White Helmets and undermine allegations of chemical weapon attacks rt.com/news/436812-sy…
I don't believe this is the Russian MoD being aware there will specific chemical attacks by Syrian government forces, just laying the groundwork for future denials and conspiracy theories if there are.
The @DFRLab did an detailed examination of one of the earlier claims made as part of the anti-White Helmets, CW conspiracy #SyriaHoax campaign medium.com/dfrlab/syriaho…
Continuing my thread from yesterday, the @mod_russia continues to make vague claims about preparations for false flag chemical attacks in Syria, with the supposed arrival of "foreign specialists".
It's worth noting that a number of sources have stated there's been over 200 chemical weapon attacks in Syria since 2012, so just by the law of averages alone if you say there's going to be a chemical attack in Syria soon there probably will be.
More details, claiming people dressed as White Helmets are preparing a false flag chemical attack, pretty typical of the various @mod_russia claims in the past, throw in a bit of demonisation of the White Helmets along with your false flag claims.
When the chemical weapon attack in Kafr Zita predicted by Russia doesn't happen you'll see the old conspiracy theorist spin of "ah, well it would have happened but because we exposed it they didn't do it!"

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More from @EliotHiggins

Sep 23, 2018
The details about the VIPS/Ray McGovern statement on the August 21st 2013 Sarin attacks which caused a stir at the time is very interesting, tells you a lot about how they operate.
Ray McGovern is clearly an absolute bullshitter.
I mean, what are you like, Ray McGovern?
Read 6 tweets
Sep 17, 2018
Thread - So the Russian MoD is claiming there's something dodgy about the lighting in the videos, but it's just misinterpreting the shadows and objects. I'll explain how. 1/
The Russian MoD uses the following images to claim the white part of the cabin on the top right shouldn't be visible in shadows. In the second image we see the white part of the top of the cabin turn black when it enters the shadow, but the top right part doesn't 2/
But this is based on the idea the top of the truck that goes dark is white, but it's not. It's a dark band that's reflecting sunlight making it look white in the low quality footage, and without the reflecting light it's much darker. Here's an earlier photo of the same truck. 3/
Read 5 tweets
Sep 12, 2018
OP#37: All the World is Staged: An Analysis of Social Media Influence Operations against US Counterproliferation Efforts in Syria nonproliferation.org/op37-all-the-w…
Interesting findings about online influence efforts apparently by the Russian Federation following the April 7th 2018 Douma chlorine attack in the new James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies report
Read 4 tweets
Sep 12, 2018
The remains of the chlorine IRAMs used by pro-government forces in chemical attacks against Douma on January 22 and February 1 2018 according to the new @UNCoISyria report were well documented by @STJ_SYRIA_ENG as part of a joint report with @Bellingcat bellingcat.com/news/mena/2018…
The Saraqib February 4 2018 chlorine attack was executed by pro-government forces, according to the new @UNCoISyria report. It's worth noting the modified gas cylinders used in that attack have many similarities with those used in the April Douma attack bellingcat.com/news/mena/2018…
The new @UNCoISyria report also states "[a] vast body of evidence" suggests "a gas cylinder containing a chlorine payload delivered by helicopter" was used in the April 7 2018 Douma attack. Only one side is using helicopters in this conflict.
Read 4 tweets
Sep 11, 2018
According to @mod_russia we can expect to see staged footage of a chlorine attack in Jisr al-Shugur published on social media by the end of the day. Let's see if that very specific prediction comes true, or they're just lying, as usual.
Only last week this notorious Aleppo MP and war crime denialist was telling us all about his sources in Jisr al-Shugur and their claims there would be a false flag chemical attack on Friday. That didn't happen either.
On August 26th Sputnik reported that the @mod_russia had evidence of an imminent false flag chemical attack on Kafr Zita. That didn't happen either.
Read 4 tweets
Sep 8, 2018
Aircraft spotters working with Hala Systems spotted
multiple Hips from the Vehicles School helicopter base in Hama. Hips
were sighted by different spotters on a route towards Haas underground
hospital after that, then around the area Haas hospital is in just
before it was bombed.
A useful video from Idlib Media Center, giving a detailed look at the entrance area and how badly damaged it was. Some will (and already are) claiming it was an Al-Qaeda bunker or something. Looks like a hospital to me.
So here's a geolocation challenge for you #digitalsherlocks, these two photographs may show the moment Haas hospital was bombed, but can they be geolocated?
Read 5 tweets

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