Disinfo: OPCW omitted key facts in report on Douma chemical attack

Summary

An internal OPCW email reveals that the organisation doctored its own report on the 2018 chemical attack in Douma, Syria by misrepresenting or omitting key facts. This was done in order to bring the report’s conclusions in line with Western claims that the attack had been perpetrated by the Syrian government.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives attacking the independence and integrity of the OPCW; lending credence to the claim that the 2018 Douma attack was staged; and absolving the Syrian regime of responsibility for chemical attacks in general.

The email in question is dated 22 June 2018 and therefore could not have been referring to the final OPCW report on Douma, which was released 1 March 2019. In fact, the final report addresses all the points raised by the employee and addresses some of his/her concerns. See here for a point-by-point disproof by Bellingcat.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 175
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 24/11/2019
  • Language/target audience: English
  • Country: Syria
  • Keywords: Douma, OPCW, Chemical weapons/attack, Propaganda, Syrian War, Bashar al-Assad
  • Outlet: RT (rt.com) Sputnik News News Front South Front
see more

Europe is engulfed by sanctions against Russia

Major European countries are overwhelmed by sanctions against Russia […]. Nearly half of the losses caused by sanctions against Russia are incurred by Western countries. 

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative that Western sanctions against Russia are ineffective and/or meaningless.

In fact, the sanctions from the US and the EU do not aim to punish Russia or the Russian people but were introduced to send a clear signal to the Russian government after Russia's illegal annexation of the Ukrainian Crimean peninsula and the downing of the Malaysian passenger plane MH17.

White Helmets do nothing to help civilians

The White Helmets are cooperating with the terrorist group “Hayat Tahrir al-Sham” (formerly known as Jabhat al-Nusra).

What or who is hiding behind the White Helmets organization and why are they supported by the West? The White Helmets do nothing to help civilians, but instead, they cooperate with terrorists. Riam Dalati, a BBC producer in Syria, recently announced that the recording of the scene in the hospital after the chemical attack in the Syrian Douma region, which was claimed to have occurred in early April 2018, was fabricated.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the White Helmets. No evidence is given to substantiate the claim that they have connections to Al Qaeda and/ or other terrorist groups.

The claim that the White Helmets are the creation of Western intelligence” is unsubstantiated and constitutes a groundless conspiracy theory.

Crimea reunited with Russia in compliance with international law

Moscow has repeatedly stated that the population of Crimea has voted to reunite with Russia through democratic means, in full compliance with international law and the UN Charter.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the annexation of Crimea claiming that Crimean citizens chose to rejoin Russia through a legal referendum.

No international body recognises the so-called referendum, announced on the 27th of February 2014, and held on 16th of March 2014.