DISINFO: The “Original Douma Report” doesn't indicate a chemical attack in Syria
OPCW Douma Chemical weapons/attack Syrian War

DISINFO: The “Original Douma Report” doesn't indicate a chemical attack in Syria


The politicisation that the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is suffering from has kept it far from the technical nature of its work and made it lose a large part of its credibility. Instead of being a faithful guardian of the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, it has turned into a tool in the hands of some countries to target a member country of the Convention.

The original report of the investigation into the "Douma incident" confirms that no evidence was found indicating a chemical attack there and that attempts to discredit it will not succeed in restoring the credibility of the fact-finding mission's reports.


Recurring disinformation narratives deflecting blame for chemical attacks from the Assad regime; aiming to discredit the OPCW. The article also attacks the OPCW's independence and integrity; lending credence to the claim that the 2018 Douma chemical attack didn’t happen.

The OPCW's supposed “original report”, trying to paint an image of suppressing the truth about the Douma incident, is a standard talking point in reporting on Syria. See e.g. here, here, here, and here for our previous debunking of this narrative.

The talking point about an “original report” different from the official one has been dealt a blow by an official independent inquiry showing that two former employees hailed as whistleblowers in a draft report had little direct access to the evidence and inflated their role.

The independent inquiry commissioned by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) shows that one of the two had never been on the team investigating the April 2018 attack in Douma (para. 23) and the other was only on the team for a brief period (para. 13).

In March 2019, the OPCW confirmed in its final report that chlorine was used in the attack on Douma on 7 April 2018.

The document by the Technical Secretariat offers a detailed response to notes verbales in which both Russia and Syria questioned the credibility and legality of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission in Douma.

The OPCW is an independent inter-governmental international organisation with 193 member states - including Russia. As for the campaign to discredit OPCW, it started around mid-2018 when the organisation was granted new powers to assign blame for chemical attacks. 18 countries issued a joint statement, which called for an end to the unacceptable Russian defamation of the OPCW.

Read similar cases in our database that claim that the OPCW has become a tool for the US and its Western allies; or that it is controlled by American, and smeared whistleblowers and doctored evidence to blame Damascus for the chemical attack; or that OPCW produces predefined reports; or that the West uses the OPCW to manipulate facts because it is anti-Russian; or that Syria is being accused of something they no longer possess the tools for.


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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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