Two years ago today, Syrian helicopters dropped Chlorine bombs on residential areas of Douma, killing at least 43 civilians. Despite rabid disinformation, the detailed @OPCW FFM report on the attack remains the single best account of events of that day:
The @nytimes visual investigations team also produced a fantastic and very accessible feature on the incident, helping lay readers situate the jarring images of that day in time and place and slowly walking them through the steps of the investigation.
Our friends at @bellingcat have also been indefatigable: Among the first to cover and correctly assess what had occurred that night as well as going through the works of responding to the myriad wild conspiracy theories that have cropped over the years:
Later today, we will be releasing an updated database of chemical attacks in the Syrian civil war. In years of painstaking work alongside Syrian partners, we have compiled available information on 521 reported incidents and judged 345 either credibly substantiated or confirmed.
The earliest attack in our dataset occurred during the Battle of Homs in late 2012, the latest on 19 May 2019 in Kabani, Latakia. Of these 345 attacks, we believe the Syrian government is responsible for at least 98% - with the remaining few attributable to the Islamic State.
We have never been able to attribute any confirmed attack to the armed opposition or unravel any conspiracy - nor have UN/OPCW investigators who have reviewed claims lodged by the Syrian gov. The closest we got to "false flag" was an apparent misdiagnosis of respiratory distress.
In contrast, we have seen patterns that are so persistent and obvious, nobody could dismiss them in good faith. We repeatedly -dozens of times!- see the same formations deploy the same munitions carrying the same agents against different, unconnected areas outside of gov control.
Hundreds of attacks, thousands of victims and witnesses (including defectors), exhaustive toxicological and ballistic reports, international journalists on the ground, radar and flight tracking of the helicopters and jets that drop the bombs - all pointing in one direction.
I understand how lay readers could be confused in the mess that is Syria. Just like with Covid-19, I can only recommend you read the quality comprehensive reporting of major international outlets and listen to the global experts whose profession it is to investigate such attacks.
Nobody is trying to keep the truth from you. The supposed "whistleblowers" amplified by fringe media are the equivalents of crank doctors on Facebook telling your aunt to pour olive oil down her nostrils to protect from Covid-19. There's always some.
You can follow @tobiaschneider.
Tip: mention @twtextapp on a Twitter thread with the keyword “unroll” to get a link to it.

Latest Threads Unrolled: