I'm in Houston listening to TV stations that I normally don't watch -- but this time, I'm surely glad I did.
On April 16, One America News, a conservative Christian TV network and supporter of President Trump, sent reporter Pearson Sharp into Syria to cover the reported chemical attack that killed 42 on the night of April 7. He arrived in Damascus the day before the US, the UK and France bombed three facilities in Syria in response to the alleged chemical attack in Douma.
Pearson Sharp has made two TV reports from Douma with a third to be posted today, April 19. In the report posted on April 16 "OAN Investigation Finds No Evidence Of Chemical Weapon Attack In Syria," and the report posted April 18 "OAN reporter Pearson Sharp Refutes MSM Reports of Chemical Weapons Attack in Douma," Sharp said that he spoke to 30 people in Douma that he picked out at random and no one heard of a chemical attack.
He then went to the hospital where the "chemical attack" video was taken and the doctors in that hospital said that a group of people they did not know rushed into the hospital and poured water on children and adults they had brought with them, put oxygen type masks on the wet people, took videos of the scene and then left with those they had "treated." The doctor said the group had staged the scene and the attack.
UK Independent Daily investigative reporter Robert Fisk writes in "The Search for Truth in the Rubble of Douma -- And One Doctor's Doubts Over the Chemical Attacks" that he tracked down 58-year-old Syrian doctor Dr. Assim Rahaibani who said he was told by fellow doctors who were on duty at the clinic when patients were brought in by "jihadi gunmen of Jaish el-Islam [the Army of Islam] in Douma and that the patients appeared to be "overcome not by gas but by oxygen starvation in the rubbish-filled tunnels and basements in which they lived, on a night of wind and heavy shelling that stirred up a dust storm."
Dr. Rahaibani told Fisk, "I was with my family in the basement of my home three hundred metres from here on the night but all the doctors know what happened. There was a lot of shelling [by government forces] and aircraft were always over Douma at night -- but on this night, there was wind and huge dust clouds began to come into the basements and cellars where people lived. People began to arrive here suffering from hypoxia, oxygen loss. Then someone at the door, a "White Helmet", shouted "Gas!" and a panic began. People started throwing water over each other. Yes, the video was filmed here, it is genuine, but what you see are people suffering from hypoxia -- not gas poisoning."
Fisk writes that, "There are the many people I talked to amid the ruins of the town who said they had "never believed in" gas stories -- which were usually put about, they claimed, by the armed Islamist groups. These particular jihadis survived under a blizzard of shellfire by living in other people's homes and in vast, wide tunnels with underground roads carved through the living rock by prisoners with pick-axes on three levels beneath the town. I walked through three of them yesterday, vast corridors of living rock which still contained Russian -- yes, Russian -- rockets and burned-out cars."
Fisk wrote that "I walked across this town quite freely yesterday without soldier, policeman or minder to haunt my footsteps, just two Syrian friends, a camera and a notebook. I sometimes had to clamber across 20-foot-high ramparts, up and down almost sheer walls of earth." OAN reporter Pearson Sharp also said that he was able to walk wherever he wished without any government minders.
Reporter and author Max Blumenthal has tracked the role of the White Helmets in the Syrian conflict and reports that the White Helmets were created in Turkey by James Le Mesurier, a former British MI5 and have received at least $55 million from the British Foreign Office and $23 million from the U.S. Agency for International Development as well as millions from the Kingdom of Qatar which has backed a variety of extremist groups in Syria including Al Qaeda.
Blumenthal writes that "When Defense Secretary James Mattis cited "social media" in place of scientific evidence of a chemical attack in Douma, he was referring to video shot by members of the White Helmets.