DISINFO: The West is creating mechanisms in the OPCW to discredit unfavourable states
Syrian War West White Helmets OPCW United Nations Chemical weapons/attack

DISINFO: The West is creating mechanisms in the OPCW to discredit unfavourable states


Western countries create a mechanism within the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to discredit governments that they do not like.

The scheme used for this purpose begins with organising provocations by Western-funded NGOs (especially the "White Helmets"), and then the main Western media covers these events extensively, and they finally resort to the OPCW structure later to legitimise these fakes.


Recurring disinformation narratives attacking the independence and integrity of the OPCW and absolving the Syrian regime of responsibility for chemical attacks.

Despite the fact that Russia is a member of the OPCW, pro-Kremlin outlets began portraying the OPCW as a pawn in Western geopolitical designs around mid-2018, when the organisation was being granted new powers to assign blame for chemical attacks, especially in the Syrian Douma.

Allegations of "staged" chemical attacks are a part of the ongoing campaign by Syria and Russia to smear the White Helmets as terrorists and war criminals.

An investigation mechanism set up by the OPCW has twice blamed Syrian government forces for chemical attacks. On 12 April 2021, it said it found “reasonable grounds to believe” that a Syrian air force military helicopter dropped a chlorine cylinder on a Syrian town in 2018, sickening 12 people.

On 8 April 2020, the team found reasonable grounds to believe that the Syrian Arab Air Force was responsible for attacks using chlorine and the nerve agent sarin in March 2017 in the town of Latamneh.

The investigative team was established after Russia blocked the extension of a joint investigation mechanism set up by the United Nations and OPCW in 2015. That mechanism accused Syria of chemical weapons attacks, including unleashing sarin in an aerial attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun in April 2017 that killed about 100 people.

According to the OPCW's director-general, the organisation has been targeted by a disinformation campaign when the organisation was being 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.

See similar cases in our database claiming that the chemical attacks in Syria have been staged and filmed by the media of the Western countries; or that the White Helmets have falsified chemical attacks evidence; or that OPCW violated chemical weapons convention to serve Western interests, or that the OPCW report on Ltamenah chemical attacks is misinformation; or that the UN’s JIM was disbanded due to unprofessionalism; or that the OPCW’s IIT is an illegal Western tool.


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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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