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

Summary

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.

Disproof

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.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 178
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 17/12/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Syria
  • Keywords: Douma, OPCW, Chemical weapons/attack, Syrian War
  • Outlet: Vremya @ Pervyi Kanal time 5:30-5:40; 6:00-6:15, RT, EADaily
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White Helmets use a “humanitarian mask” as a cover for their criminal activities

The White Helmets are a weapon of the British and American intelligence services, and its founder, British intelligence officer James Le Mesurier, was killed in “mysterious circumstances” near his house in Istanbul last November.

The organisation takes the “humanitarian mask” as a cover for its criminal activities, in cooperation with the Jabhat al-Nusra organisation, which controls the vast majority of the Idlib governorate.

Disproof

An example of many disinformation and propagandist claims about the White Helmets. Pro-Kremlin media routinely accuse the White Helmets of “working for terrorists” and being a creation of the Western intelligence services. No evidence is given to support these claims.

The "White Helmets" movement originated in Syria in 2012. The organisation, which is made up of 3,400 volunteers including teachers, engineers, tailors and firefighters, states that it has no affiliation to any political or military actor and is committed to rendering services to anyone in need. Volunteers save people from the rubble after bombings, despite the danger of dying themselves as a result of repeated air strikes.

Greta Thunberg is the love child of a Russian film director with a prostitute

Film director and actor Stanislav Baretsky claims that he in early 2000’s was dating a girl, who was “working the hotels”. The actor admits that he at the time was worshiping the girl and didn’t care about her profession. His beloved decided to go for another man and left for Sweden, where she, according to Baretsky, gave birth to a girl that she left for adoption. […] The woman from the past contacted Mr. Baretsky recently and declared that Greta is his daughter.

 

Disproof

An attempt to defame the Swedish activist and her family. There is no evidence to support Mr. Baretsky's claims.

 

NATO prepares for a great conflict

NATO’s military exercises in the Baltic countries, Poland, in the Black Sea and Baltic Sea indicate that it is preparing for a large-scale conflict. Also, NATO promotes theories about the “Russian military threat”, interpreting any Russian security process or any planned transparent military construction event as a threat to peace.

Disproof

This claim involves speculation without any evidence. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about  NATO's belligerence towards Russia, portraying the Alliance as a threat to peace.

NATO is a defensive alliance, whose purpose is to protect its member states. NATO exercises and military deployments are not directed against Russia – or any other country. Any claims that NATO is preparing an attack on Russia are absurd.