On April 9, 2018 Antiwar.Com reported that “Syrian Red Crescent Says No Evidence of Chemical Attack in Syria,” with respect to the alleged Saturday attack in Douma. The article quoted a (since corrected) RT.com article which made the claim. At the time, we had no reason to believe it was untrue.
In fact, the original source, TASS quoted Red Crescent officials describing the incident of six patients with breathing problems, who had not been exposed to any toxic agents. A more detailed accounting by TASS reveals this incident took place in January, with respect to a different alleged attack, and had nothing to do with the Saturday incident.
The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent’s Lebanon branch says they are unaware of any statements by the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) on the Douma matter. They also note that the SARC was not operational in Douma as of the date of the attack. It appears no such statement exists, one way or the other, on the Saturday allegations.
When Politifact contacted us to question this, we had found we had made a mistake. In the future, we will not use foreign news sources as the sole source for important articles like this.
We at Antiwar.com apologize for the mistake. We strive to provide the most accurate, and up-to-date information possible.
9 thoughts on “ Retraction: Report of Syrian Red Crescent Statement on Alleged Douma Attack Incorrect”
Thank you for acting like journalists in an era where there are so few.
C’mon Antiwar don’t be so gutless. A good read of the article its clear Red Crescent were referring to January event. Therefore if it happened in January it could happen in April. That message is clear.
No need to apologize.
The usually astute Jason Ditz writes,”In the future, we will not use foreign news sources as the sole source for important articles like this.” With that Jason shows he as a well developed sense of irony, given the track record on foreign affairs of our homegrown media.
Would it not be better to say, “In the future we will not rely solely on Western sources with all their bias and preprogrammed narratives when it comes to important stories. Instead we shall promptly give the take from the non-Western press as well as from Mainstream Media Sources. That way our readers will have the wherewithal to decide on the truth for themselves.”
As an example, more such coverage by foreign sources would have led to far more skepticism about the WMD story in Iraq War 2 and the Incubator Baby story in Iraq War 1. Etc, etc.
I’m not used to retractions. How refreshing.
While I really do appreciate you taking this stuff seriously, given the shortage of good sources and the fact that foreign sources often have better information that US media, I think your conclusion may be going too far. Being a bit more clear about uncertainty and lack of confirmation may be wise though.
The thing that puzzles me is that in the videos where the “White Helmets” are supposedly treating nerve agent victims is that none of the patients are exhibiting the classic signs of exposure to nerve agents – namely excessive salivating, tear flow, uncontrollable urination/defecation, vomiting, convulsions and inability to breathe. Instead the White Helmets seem to be just hosing them down with a water hose. What are they treating them for – fertilizer/pesticide on their skin which could mildly imitate nerve agent exposure. Seems like a dog and pony show!
Good point. In Army I was in the so called biochemical protection force, so I really know thing or two about biochemical attacks.
If any poison was used, but especially nerve agent, water hosing would kill them all in a couple of minutes – victims and “savers” together. Or; I doubt that any saver would got near any water hose, if he approached victims without protective clothes. What we saw was very brazen lie, very poorly executed.
The Russian version of timeline of events at the hospital sounds very credible. In fact I hadn’t thought of the scenario of someone bursting into a room and needlessly panicking the patients but I do now.
Someone wrote a comment saying it was January. however, we still have no proof of the attack and/or its perpetrator.
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