Disinfo: Chemical weapons – a false pretext to attack Assad since the very beginning


The battle for Idlib is raging as Washington accuses Assad of using chemical weapons again. The evidence put forward seems to be weak, moreover, it contradicts the official version. What is really happening? A document from a sub-team of engineers working with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), involved in the assessment of the Duma chemical attack in April 2018, has recently been leaked. It concluded that the on-site chlorine cylinders were more likely placed there by hand rather than having fallen from an aircraft, as indicated in the final report. In April 2018, the United States made false claims about the Syrian army using chemical weapons. It has been shown that these claims were false already before the leaks that just happened. It is not even a sub-team, it’s a team that was led by an engineer known in his field and perfectly competent and he was officially responsible for doing this investigation. But the OPCW deliberately dismissed this report from this engineer who said: “No, it is not possible that it was the Syrian army that did that.” It was already a false pretext in April 2018. And today as the Syrian army is about to liquidate the terrorists, to finish with the precincts of Idlib, obviously the organisations that are against this are advancing their outdated narrative saying: “the Syrian government uses chemical weapons, so you have to hit.”


Recurring disinformation narratives deflecting blame for chemical attacks from the Assad regime; painting the White Helmets as cooperating with terrorists or terrorists themselves; and aiming to discredit the OPCW. The "new leaked report" appears to be an engineering assessment carried out by one individual who, contrary to Sputnik's false claim, was never a member of the Fact-Finding Mission and is not currently employed by the organisation. The individual, however, was affiliated with the OPCW as an engineer and apparently had access to materials gathered in the course of the Douma FFM, and based his/her conclusions on the same evidence pool. An OPCW press statement confirms that "all information was taken into account, deliberated, and weighed when formulating the final report regarding the incident in Douma." The OPCW Technical Secretariat is conducting an internal investigation about the unauthorised release of the document in question. Regardless of the authenticity of the leaked document, its conclusion that the cylinders could not have been dropped from the air: a) has been addressed in the actual OPCW report on Douma (Annex 6, pp. 55-56); b) does not support the outlandish claim that the incident was staged and represents a false accusation against the Syrian regime. The White Helmets have not once been caught staging anything, and the version of the staged chemical attacks in Douma in 2018 was never "official". See more disinformation cases on the subject and their debunking for more details.


  • Reported in: Issue 152
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 31/05/2019
  • Language/target audience: French
  • Country: US, Syria
  • Keywords: OPCW, White Helmets, West, Chemical weapons/attack, Syrian War


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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