The organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was founded in in 1997 to oversee the application of the Paris Convention.
It was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013 while it was watching over the destruction of Syria’s chemical arsenal following Damascus’ accession to the Convention.
On 7 April 2018, the Army of Islam, the White Helmets and the French government accused Syria of having used chemical weapons in Douma (Eastern Ghouta).
On the night of 13-14 April 2018, the United States, the United Kingdom and France bombed Syria in retaliation.
On 1 March 2019, the OPCW issued a report on the incident. While not explicitly accusing Syria, it endorsed the charges against her. Russia then presented 17 eyewitnesses contradicting the Western narrative.
In June 2018, acting on a French proposal, the OPCW amended its statutes so that the General Assembly (which is mathematically controlled by Western countries) may adopt decisions by simple majority.
It then created an investigative mechanism with the power to designate guilty parties.
In October 2019, Wikileaks revealed an internal OPCW email, drafted by Inspector Ian Henderson, disputing the veracity of the official report.
The latter document had been authenticated by an independent international commission, including former OPCW Director-General Jose Bustani.
It turned out that the email had been concealed and later deleted from the OPCW archives by the Director-General’s chief of cabinet, Sebastien Braha, a French diplomat.
On 8 April 2020, the new Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) of the reformed OPCW, led by Santiago Onate-Laborde, former president of the Mexican PRI party, released a report holding the Syrian Arab Air Force responsible for using sarin gas in Latamneh on 24 and 30 March 2017 as well as deploying chlorine on 25 March 2017.
Not only does the report affirm that these crimes took place, but it also explicitly concludes that President Bashar al-Assad is personally responsible for them.
A second report is expected to be released shortly, to rewrite the history of the attack in Douma on 7 April 2018.
Syria and Russia protested against this manipulation.
The European Union, for its part, called on the international community to “give due consideration to the report and take appropriate action”.