Inspectors allowed into site of Syrian chemical attack

Adjust Comment Print

"It is our understanding the Russians may have visited the attack site", US Ambassador Kenneth Ward said at an OPCW meeting in The Hague on Monday.

Saturday's airstrikes came shortly after a fact-finding mission from the Organization of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons arrived in Syria to investigate the attack.

In a Sunday Telegraph opinion piece, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson reinforced U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May's statement that the strikes were not about meant to drive regime change or interference in Syria's civil war.

Syrian state media reported Tuesday that inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons had entered the town of Douma, but Syria's United Nations ambassador, Bashar Ja'afari, later said that only a United Nations advance security team had entered.

A diplomatic source told Reuters news agency that the experts had not entered Douma.

Western countries say scores of civilians sheltering from bombs were gassed to death in Douma on April 7. Gen. Yuri Yevtushenko of the Russian military's Reconciliation Center in Syria.

Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Director General Ahmet Üzümcü said a security team of the United Nations Department of Safety and Security had made a decision to carry out a reconnaissance before the arrival of the inspectors.

Global inspectors are expected to soon enter the Syrian town where an alleged chemical attack was carried out earlier this month, Syrian state media reports, awaiting a final all clear from the United Nations.

However, Russia has repeatedly denied all allegations.

"As far as I understand, what is hampering a speedy resolution of this problem is the consequences of the illegal, unlawful military action that Great Britain and other countries conducted on Saturday", Ryabkov said.

More news: City wary of title collapse ahead of Spurs showdown — Big Match Focus
More news: Seven inmates killed as turf war turns into riot in US prison
More news: Fortnite could get more than 100 players per match says Epic Games

The experts from the OPCW chemical watchdog are awaiting the green light from the security team before beginning their on-site investigation in Douma of the alleged attack.

"At present, we do not know when the FFM team can be deployed to Douma", the OPCW chief said.

"It found the Syrian government responsible for chemical weapons attacks on four occasions and the Islamic State guilty of chemical weapons use in two instances".

Even if they find that weapons have been used, the inspectors can't say who deployed them.

De Mistura also plans to meet with Turkish, Russian and Iranian officials as well as officials from several European counties and the U.S.

The Post report states that the sanctions are under "serious consideration" but Trump is reluctant to sign off on them unless Russian Federation gives him "another triggering event" to do so. Israel did not confirm or deny it.

Officers from the United Nations security agency (UNDSS) went on a reconnaissance mission Tuesday to Douma, a town that was controlled by rebels until Russian-backed regime forces fully retook it last week.

The Associated Press, during a government-organised visit Monday to Douma, spoke to survivors and witnesses who described being hit by gas. Several said a odd smell started spreading and people screamed, "It's chlorine!"

Activists on the ground in Syria said the attack killed more than 40 people and injured hundreds more sheltering from bombing in basements beneath the city.

Comments