Disinfo: The West uses the OPCW to manipulate facts


It has been possible to deprive Syria of its rights and privileges within the organisation through manipulation of facts, blackmail and intimidation from some countries. The United States, France, the United Kingdom and other countries are continually simmering plans to eliminate the government of Bashar al-Assad, whom they hate, from the political arena.

Russia and the Syrian government have repeatedly accused the OPCW of bias in investigating incidents in Syria and questioned the findings of the Technical Secretariat.

The Syrian authorities state they have never used chemical weapons against civilians or terrorists and that the country's chemical arsenal has been withdrawn from Syria under OPCW control.

Russia admitted back in April that the OPCW is preparing a new pseudo-investigation to accuse the Syrian authorities of using chemical weapons. The initiative launched by the West to deprive Syria of its rights within the OPCW is staged.


Recurrent disinformation message about Chemical Weapons in the Syrian conflict and attempting to discredit the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

In an unprecedented vote on April 21 2021, member states of the global chemical weapons watchdog suspended Syria’s voting rights at the organisation as punishment for the repeated use of toxic gas by Damascus. The vote, which required a two-thirds majority to pass, marked the first time a member state of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has been hit with such a sanction.

The German NGO GPPi has collected data on 349 confirmed incidents with the use of various types of chemical weapons. In almost all cases, Syrian regime forces can be tied to the attacks.

As early as February 2020, the Russia Centre for Syria Reconciliation (see our article The Least Accurate Oracle in the World) was pushing the story, without providing evidence, that a chemical false flag attack in Idlib was being prepared by the White Helmets. The White Helmets have been repeatedly accused by the Syrian regime of being responsible for chemical attacks during the war in Syria in an attempt to shift blame for chemical attacks in Syria away from Damascus.

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.

Read also related stories: OPCW is anti-Russian, OPCW's decision to restrict Syria's rights was absurd, The West is creating mechanisms in the OPCW to discredit unfavourable states, The West is using OPCW to throw baseless accusations at Syria.


  • Reported in: Issue 245
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 22/05/2021
  • Article language(s) French
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Syria, US, Russia, UK, France
  • Keywords: OPCW, Chemical weapons/attack, Bashar al-Assad, Syrian War
see more

Disinfo: The White Helmets are preparing a new chemical attack

Russia foreign ministry

The active Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist group operating in Syria is on the verge of carrying out another provocation using toxic materials according to a scenario prepared with the participation from members of the pseudo-humanitarian "White Helmets".


Recurring pro-Kremlin conspiracy theory painting the White Helmets as terrorists and shifting blame for chemical attacks in Syria away from Damascus.

The claim is made without evidence and follows an established pattern of unsubstantiated accusations regarding the White Helmets' complicity in chemical attacks in Syria. Available evidence on such attacks has yet to link a single incident to any other party than the Assad regime.

Disinfo: White Helmets have staged the use of chemical weapons in Syria

Syrian terrorist organisations, backed by the controversial "White Helmets", have carried out provocations several times in the past, staging chemical weapons attacks to blame them on the Syrian government.

Despite the monitored destruction of chemical weapons, Western governments again accused Damascus of using them in Duma, near the Syrian capital Damascus, on 7 April 2018. This attack was reported by the White Helmets, who released videos showing them allegedly treating survivors of the alleged attack. Although Damascus denied the act, the US, UK and France launched airstrikes against Syrian government targets, claiming that their actions were in retaliation for the alleged chemical attack.

Russian chemical and military experts later located people who witnessed the White Helmets' actions and who stated that there was no chemical attack and that members of the "humanitarian" force simply picked them up off the street, doused them with water and injected them with unknown drugs under the pretext of treating them for contact with chemical weapons. Despite their testimonies, the OPCW has not officially recognised the incident in Duma as a false flag attack.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the White Helmets implicitly denying the responsibility of the Assad regime for chemical attacks perpetrated during the Syrian civil war. No evidence given to support the allegation.

White Helmets activists have documented the use of chemical weapons in Syria, later confirmed by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). Thus, the OPCW found reasonable grounds to believe that chlorine was used as a weapon in the Douma district of Eastern Ghouta, Syria in April 2018. Because of these awareness-raising activities, the White Helmets have become the target of a prolific and aggressive Russian disinformation campaign seeking to delegitimise their humanitarian efforts and paint them as proxies of Western intelligence to undermine the Assad regime.

Disinfo: US special forces working with traitors in Ukraine

The Ukrainian official, Hryhoriy Halahan, who recently welcomed a unit of US Navy Seals on an island off the coast of southern Ukraine, is a known traitor that initially wanted to defect to the Russian side. Halahan served as deputy head of Alpha Group, a Ukrainian intelligence unit, and was stationed in Crimea until 2014 when most of Alpha Group defected to Russia. He promised he would also defect once he arranged his affairs in Kiev but never came back. Instead, he continued his work for Ukraine and participated in combat operations in Donetsk, including against his former comrades. Halahan wanted to defect again in 2015, but requested an exorbitant amount of money and was refused by the Russian side. It goes to show that the Ukrainian official is willing to fight against anyone for the right amount of remuneration and cannot be trusted.


Major General Hryhoriy Halahan, who was appointed commander of the Special Operations Forces in 2020 by President Zelensky, is increasingly being targeted by pro-Kremlin media. They make serious accusations of treason against Halahan, attacking his character, without presenting any evidence to support their claims. The ultimate aim is to disparage the new commander of the Special Operations Forces and damage Ukraine’s defensive efforts against Russia.

No verifiable evidence exists to support the claim that Hryhoriy Halahan intended to defect to the Russian side in 2014 or at any point afterwards. The article cites the Russian-based Telegram channel WarGonzo, which is known for its connections to the Kremlin and for proliferating pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives. Contrary to the claims made, official records reveal that in 2015 Halahan was awarded two military medals for his bravery “in defence of state sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine”. In a recent extensive interview for a Ukrainian outlet in April 2021, Halahan expressed his appreciation for military cooperation with NATO and discussed in detail his work on countering Russian direct and indirect attacks in Eastern Ukraine. According to Halahan himself, he was indeed just one of a few security service agents in Crimea not to defect in 2014.