One America News Network (OANN), which normally unabashedly kowtows to President Donald Trump, recently claimed the suspected chemical attack on Syria by Assad regime was staged.
In a video report from Damascus, the ultra conservative network claimed to have visited the town surrounding the alleged chemical attack site and concluded they found no evidence of a chemical attack in that area.
The reporter also said he talked to several dozen people who all gave similar statements regarding the absence of any signs of the attack that was reported all over media.
The network is notorious for running pro-Trump propaganda, although this is a big break with the president, who has tweeted furiously about the chemical attack and launched airstrikes on Syria in retaliation.
Recently, President Donald Trump came under fire for his use of the term “Mission Accomplished,” with the media linking it to the premature celebratory declarations in George W. Bush-era. But OANN only chose to show Trump’s defense to the statement calling it a “fake news media” attack on the president rather than explaining what the problem with the phrase was in the first place.
Syrian and Russian officials denied the attack, with latter trying to pin it on the U.K. However, if reports from OANN are considered to be true, there was no need for retaliation.
“We went to Douma today — we got exclusive access — and we were brought into… the town where the alleged chemical attack happened,” OANN correspondent Pearson Sharp stated.
“We were brought in with a government escort and shown the areas where the chemical attack allegedly happened and we got to speak with residents in the area. We were even able to visit the hospital where [volunteer-run rescue group] the White Helmets showed the video of the people being hosed down,” Sharp said. “Not one of the people that I spoke to in that neighborhood said they had seen or heard anything about a chemical attack on that day.”
According to Sharp, the people he interviewed blamed the attack on the rebel group, Jaysh al-Islam, who allegedly staged the attack to get Syrian military off their backs so they can escape the territory.
“[The residents] told me…the rebels were desperate and they needed a ploy to help get the Syrian Army off their backs, so they can escape,” he said. “The residents told me — and again, I’m using that phrase a lot, because I want it to be clear that this is not an opinion, this is not propaganda, as some have accused. This is simply facts that we found on the ground when we were in the town, things that we saw first-hand.”
Sharp claimed to interview Syrian residents, but he was only allowed to these places by the Syrian government, which calls transparency into question. He also does not hide his pro-Assad stance anywhere in the video, claiming the rebels as “terrorists” that have held the town hostage and the general population of the affected in area in favor of the Syrian despot Bashar al-Assad.
“The [residents say they] were incredibly grateful that President Assad had liberated the town; they were completely in support of President Assad,” he said.
The Pentagon recently warned against pro-Assad propaganda after a 2,000 percent increase in Russian troll activity on social media sites. The massive increase in activity was noticed the day after U.S. strikes on Syria.
“The Russian disinformation campaign has already begun,” Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White noted. She said the Pentagon is going to provide more information regarding the issue.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley also corroborated with White.
“We can all see that a Russia disinformation campaign is in full force this morning, but Russia’s desperate attempts at deflection cannot change the facts,” Haley said Saturday at a U.N. Security Council meeting.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a U.K.-based organization observing the Syrian civil war, reported nearly 85 percent of the half million victims of the war were killed by the Syrian military and their allies.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: White Helmets/Handout via REUTERS