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Category: Middle East & North Africa

March 25, 2020

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

The Coronavirus Disinformation System: How It Works

Besides viruses, what else is terribly contagious? Lies, of course. As the coronavirus pandemic engulfs the world, disinformation associated with the virus has taken on many forms. Whether it’s your uncle sending you a Tom Hanks meme at 4 a.m. or the current occupant of the White House lying about Barack Obama supposedly harming the…

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March 5, 2020

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

Syria Shootout Demonstrates Precarious Environment For U.S. Forces

A single checkpoint in Northeastern Syria recently became a flashpoint — and in our latest Bellingcat collaboration with Newsy, we show you how. U.S. troops have patrolled the Turkish-Syria border since 2017. This is a means of trying to keep tensions at bay between numerous local factions. This has particularly concerned Turkey — which is,…

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February 11, 2020

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

The OPCW Douma Leaks Part 4: The OPCW Investigation

Introduction Over the last year, the OPCW has faced a series of leaks related to the Fact Finding Mission’s (FFM) investigation into the Douma chemical attack. The OPCW have now released their investigation into these leaks. These leaks appear to have originated from two former employees: Inspector A, who is Ian Henderson and Inspector B,…

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January 23, 2020

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

The OPCW Douma Leaks Part 3: We Need To Talk About A “False Flag” Attack

In its final report, the Fact Finding Mission (FFM) of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) stated that there are reasonable grounds to believe that on April 7, 2018, chlorine gas was used in an attack on the Syrian city of Douma. Despite that conclusion, claims the chemical attack in Douma were…

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January 17, 2020

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

The OPCW Douma Leaks Part 2: We Need To Talk About Henderson

Executive Summary Henderson was an employee of the OPCW, but the organisation clearly did not consider him to be part of the FFM. Henderson delivered his report outside of protocol with less than a day before the final FFM report was published. Three independent engineering studies commissioned by the FFM contradict Henderson’s findings. Henderson’s report…

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January 15, 2020

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

The OPCW Douma Leaks Part 1: We Need To Talk About “Alex”

Executive Summary Some reporting of this situation has ignored the context of multiple chemical attacks perpetrated by the Syrian Government. Alex’s complaints are not properly placed in context. Alex’s claims about chemistry are flawed and hugely overstated. The stated conclusion of a meeting with toxicologists, which appears to support Alex’s claims, is inconsistent with known…

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January 9, 2020

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

Video Apparently Showing Flight PS752 Missile Strike Geolocated to Iranian Suburb

On January 9th, a video spread online after it was posted onto a public Telegram channel showing what was apparently a mid-air explosion. The New York Times has contacted the person who filmed the video, received it in high resolution, and confirmed its authenticity. Below, an annotated version of the video created by Jake Godin…

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December 12, 2019

By Tariq Bhatti

Chlorine’s Unique Fingerprints: The April 7, 2018 Douma Incident Through A Chemistry Lens

The leak of an internal e-mail from an OPCW employee using the pseudonym “Alex” has stirred a controversy over the integrity of the OPCW Fact Finding Mission (FFM) into the April 7, 2018 chemical attack on Douma City. Alex alleges that the evidence collected by the FFM was deliberately manipulated through omission, exaggeration, and misrepresentation…

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