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Chemical Attack in Douma: A False Pretext for Escalating War Against Syria?

By Tim Hayward

April 8, 2018

Allegations of a chemical attack in Douma by Syria on 7 April were met by threats from President Trump to attack Syria. These were followed by Israeli missile strikes on an airfield in Homs early on 9 April.

Given the pace of events and their significance for potential escalation in tensions between the Western powers and Russia, it is helpful to have timely information about questions that are under investigation by independent researchers.

This post will be updated as and when insightful contributions are published, including as work in progress. Comments are open to allow for readers’ further recommendations and observations.

Originally published on Tim Hayward’s blog here

Tim Hayward updates this post on his blog on an almost daily basis so do go there after you’ve read these posts

In the media

Major-General Jonathan David Shaw CBE is interrupted by Sky News interviewer as he begins to articulate scepticism (13 April)

Former First Sea Lord of the Royal Navy, Lord Alan West, articulates deep scepticism about allegations (13 April) – see interview from minute 06:40

US Defense Secretary Mattis admits US has no evidence of who was responsible or even that a chemical attack occurred (12 April)

Tucker Carlson defends questioning US narrative against accusations that doing so is spreading propaganda (11 April)

Peter Ford, Former British Ambassador to Syria, articulates reasons for scepticism (10 April)

Tucker Carlson on Fox News speaks out forcefully for scepticism about allegations (10 April)


Testimony from on the ground in Douma

Two men working in hospital ER, seen in the “chemical attack” video, testify that there were no chemical attack victims but that a panic was caused by a man with camera who came in and said it was a chemical attack (13 April)


Current work in progress

On the alleged chemical attack of 7 April 2018 in Douma, running updates (with analysis of graphic images)  Adam Larson

On anomalies concerning position and condition of the chlorine cylinder Michael Kobs (twitter thread)

‘Syria – Manipulated Videos Fail to Launch World War III’ Moon of Alabama (13 April)


Research on previous chemical incidents in Syria:

On previous incidents in Ghouta (2013) and Khan Sheikhoun (2017) Paul McKeigue

Updated assessment of Khan Sheikhoun incident Paul McKeigue

Analysis of video footage from Khan Sheikhoun incident @qoppa999 (twitter thread)

Research on 2013 Kafr Batna incident ACLOS collective


Selected interviews about wider context of the current crisis

Jeffrey Sachs (12 April)

Maria Zacharova (12 April)






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