Vanessa Beeley — the Syrian conflict’s goddess of propaganda

Beeley (fourth from right) with President Assad in 2016. She described it as her proudest moment.

Incendiary weapons

Confusingly in view of the title, the article starts by discussing napalm. Napalm is not classed as a chemical weapon — it’s an incendiary weapon with horrible effects — and its use is restricted by the international Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons.

The White Helmets: a ‘propaganda construct’

The reason for Beeley’s discussion of napalm appears to be a tweet posted by the White Helmets organisation in March saying that 37 civilians had been killed by a napalm attack in Eastern Ghouta.

Screen grab from RT’s report showing a warplane in Syria fitted with incendiary weapons

Accusations of fakery

Undiscouraged by that, though, Beeley proceeds to accuse the BBC of faking evidence of an incendiary attack. In August 2013 a BBC crew were filming at a hospital in northern Syria (outside the regime’s control) when ambulances started arriving with youngsters suffering from burns — a school was said to have been hit by an incendiary bomb. The resulting footage, which is horrific, can be seen here (starting at 30:40).

Ignoring the chemical weapons investigators

Eventually Beeley’s article arrives at the topic in its headline: the chemical weapon “fraud” (or, with the quote marks in the position favoured by her headline writer, the “chemical weapon” fraud).

Deaths in a tunnel

Beeley’s scepticism about chemical attacks attributed to the regime is matched by her lack of it where allegations of chemical attacks by rebels are concerned. She writes:

Chemical weapons — or just chemicals?

During the Syrian conflict there have been reports from time to time of chemicals being captured from rebels. The regime and its supporters generally present these discoveries as evidence of chemical weapons production even if the chemicals are everyday substances used by civilians.

Beeley’s discovery

One of Beeley’s photos from the “chemical weapons lab”

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