OPCW suppressed key evidence in Douma chemical attack probe

Summary

The OPCW skewed its own investigation of the 2018 chemical weapons incident in Douma, Syria to come to a predetermined decision. The accusation is based on evidence and testimony of an OPCW investigator, who came forward with damning evidence that his own organization had breached its mission.

A member of the panel which questioned the whistleblower also reprinted an OPCW engineering assessment leaked in May 2019. The document rejects the claim that chlorine cylinders, which were used for delivery of the toxic gas in Douma, had been dropped from the air, which was used as a key argument in accusing the Syrian army for the attack.

 

Disproof

The story advances a 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.

The value of the panel's alleged findings is summarized in the following passage from the story itself: "The panel did not make public the name of the whistleblower or any previously unpublished evidence of the OPCW’s alleged misconduct." It therefore does nothing to challenge the OPCW's conclusions regarding the Douma incident.

Rather than present actual proof of OPCW wrongdoing, a member of the panel reprinted - for no apparent reason - a technical note by an OPCW engineer (not an investigator) which was leaked from the organisation in May 2019. Similarly, the note does nothing to disprove the OPCW's published findings. See here for our debunk of this claim.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 170
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 23/10/2019
  • Language/target audience: English
  • Country: Syria
  • Keywords: Douma, OPCW, Chemical weapons/attack, Syrian War
  • Outlet: RT (rt.com)
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