Disinfo: OPCW has deliberately falsified Douma report to blame the Assad Government


Russia and Syria have repeatedly stated: the incident in Douma was staged. But now it’s not about operations under the false flag, not about the participation of the White Helmets in the falsifications, but the deliberate falsifications conducted by the OPCW.


Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative seeking to absolve the Assad regime of responsibility for chemical attacks perpetrated in the course of the Syrian civil war, as well as to undermine the credibility and independence of the OPCW. They claim that the Douma chemical attacks were staged by Western actors in order to justify military action against the Assad regime.

The internal OPCW e-mail message published by Wikileaks sent on 22 June 2018 by an unidentified member of OPCW’s Fact-Finding Mission (FFM), does not accuse the OPCW management of deliberately manipulating and suppressing evidence gathered by the FFM in order to blame the Assad government for the Douma attack and to justify Western military intervention against Syria.

For example, the management's draft said that chlorine or another reactive chlorine-containing chemical was "likely" to have been released from two cylinders found at the scene. The email argues, instead, that while the cylinders might have been the sources of the suspected chemical there was "insufficient evidence to affirm this".

The e-mail message actually refers to a draft OPCW  interim report, not to the final report published in March 2019. The interim report published in July 2018 was basically a progress report which described the FFM’s activities until that date. The final OPCW report accepts the points made by the FFM member in the internal e-mail.

OPCW’s director Fernando Arias stated that the organisation stands by the final findings published in a March 2019 report. “While some of these diverging views continue to circulate in certain public discussion forums, I would like to reiterate that I stand by the independent, professional conclusions,” Arias mentioned.

For a related case about an alleged OPCW "never-before-seen-report" that sought to deflect blame for chemical attacks from the Assad regime, read here and here.

For further background on chemical weapons attacks in Syria see the Syrian Archive’s Chemical Weapons Database.


  • Reported in: Issue 178
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 17/12/2019
  • Language/target audience: English, Russian
  • Country: Syria
  • Keywords: Douma, OPCW, 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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