A reporter for Newsweek says he has quit his job after his editor allegedly refused to publish an article about an internal email that raises serious questions about the OPCW’s findings on an alleged gas attack in Douma, Syria.

“Yesterday I resigned from Newsweek after my attempts to publish newsworthy revelations about the leaked OPCW letter were refused for no valid reason,” Tareq Haddad tweeted out on Saturday.

The recently-leaked document contradicts key conclusions in a report by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), about the April 2018 chemical weapons attack in Douma. The incident was blamed on Damascus and was used by the US and its allies to justify airstrikes against Syrian military installations.

The email, sent by an OPCW inspector who participated in the Douma probe, outlines several instances in which facts discovered by his team had been distorted or suppressed in the OPCW’s draft report, resulting in “an unintended bias” in the resulting text.

In a series of follow-up tweets, the former Newsweek journalist said that he had “collected evidence of how they suppressed the story,” adding that he also had evidence that the outlet had cut material, in a separate incident, because the information was “inconvenient to the US government” – even though it was factually correct.

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The building of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague. ©REUTERS / Piroschka van de Wouw
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Tareq claims that he was threatened with legal action after he’d asked his editor why his story about the damning leak had been refused.

Since making the announcement, the now-unemployed reporter has received accolades for his journalistic integrity. His story has also caught the attention of several prominent journalists, including Mail on Sunday columnist Peter Hitchens, who has been a fierce critic of western media’s coverage of the Douma attack.

While media outlets rushed last year to blame Damascus for the attack, the leaked email – as well as some troubling revelations from an OPCW whistleblower – have been almost completely ignored by the western press.

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