Disinfo: OPCW redacted its own report on Douma chemical attack


After the OPCW charged the Syrian regime with perpetrating the April 2018 chemical attack in Douma, a number of the watchdog’s own investigators have questioned the official account of the tragedy.

The OPCW’s conclusions ignore a minority report produced by its own members, which proves that the chemical agent cylinder found at the site of the alleged attack could not have been dropped from the air. Instead, it was placed there by somebody on the ground.

This instance of OPCW’s suppressing and redacting its own findings undermines public trust in the organization.


Recurring pro-Kremlin narratives aiming to discredit the OPCW and casting chemical attacks in Syria as false-flag operations.

The "minority report" cited by the guest appears to be an engineering assessment carried out by one individual who was never a member of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission. The individual, however, was affiliated with the OPCW as an engineer and apparently had access to materials gathered in the course of the Douma Fact-Finding Mission, and based his/ her conclusions on the same evidence pool.

The OPCW did not "redact" or "suppress" any evidence it had access to. A press statement by the organization 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 leaked document's authenticity, its conclusion that the cylinders could not have been dropped from helicopters:

  1. has been addressed in the actual OPCW report on Douma (Annex 6, pp. 55-56);
  2. does not support the claim that the incident was staged. [WARNING: sensitive graphic content within the link]

According to the OPCW's director-general, the organization has been targeted by a disinformation campaign aiming specifically to "undermine the official reports of the Fact-Finding Mission about investigations in Syria."

See the original debunk here.


  • Reported in: Issue 154
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 10/06/2019
  • Language/target audience: English
  • Country: Syria
  • Keywords: false flag, Douma, OPCW, Chemical weapons/attack, Propaganda, 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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