Disinfo: OPCW falsified and manipulated Douma evidence to blame the Assad government


An internal OPCW (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) e-mail message sent by an OPCW inspector reveals that the organisation’s management falsified and manipulated the evidence gathered by the organisation’s inspectors sent to Douma in order to blame the Assad government for the alleged chemical attack in Douma on 7 April 2018, and to justify the military raids on Syria launched afterwards by the US, France and the UK.

The email message confirms that the final OPCW report, issued in March 2019, was based on the manipulation of evidence gathered by the FFM, falsely accused the Assad government for the Douma attack, and provided the indispensable justification for the US, UK and French bombings and missile attacks against Syria.


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. Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative claiming 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 June 22 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 actually accepts the points made by the FFM member in the internal e-mail. 

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 175
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 02/12/2019
  • Language/target audience: Italian
  • 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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