Russian disinformation campaign targets Syria’s beleaguered rescue workers

Russian disinformation campaign targets Syria’s beleaguered rescue workers

The Washington Post reports:

A Russian disinformation campaign has pushed Syria’s best-known civilian rescue group into the crosshairs of President Bashar al-Assad’s security forces, turning its volunteers into hunted prey, according to a team of open-source researchers and the organization itself.

With the help of Western funding, the Syrian Civil Defense group — more commonly known as the White Helmets — has rescued tens of thousands of civilians from the rubble of Syrian and Russian airstrikes.

More than 250 volunteers have been killed in the course of that duty, the group’s founder says. Harrowing footage of their missions has often been picked up by international media and broadcast around the world.

In response, Russia is using state-run bodies and media outlets to mount a “brutal and unrelenting” disinformation campaign against the organization, including bogus charges that the White Helmets are preparing chemical attacks on Syrian soil, the Britain-based Bellingcat research group said Tuesday. [Continue reading…]

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