Inspectors reportedly reach alleged Syria chemical attack site

Inspectors reportedly reach alleged Syria chemical attack site

Inspectors reportedly reach alleged Syria chemical attack site

Syrian UN Ambassador Bashar Al Jaafari had said the fact-finding mission would begin its work in Douma on Wednesday if the UN security team deemed the situation there to be safe enough.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has been thrust once again into the worldwide limelight by a nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in Britain and allegations of a chemical bombardment on the Syrian city of Douma.

The U.S. and France say they have evidence that Syrian President Bashar Assad's military was behind the poison gas attack, but they have made none of that evidence public.

Russian Federation and the Syrian government have denied responsibility for the alleged attack, which took place during a government assault on the then rebel-held town.

In past chemical attacks in Syria, non-state actors, such as the self-proclaimed Islamic State (ISIS) and other rebels groups, have been suspected of using chemical weapons on civilians. The UK this week said Russian Federation was delaying investigations.

Chemical weapons expert Jean Pascal Zanders said that the delay will mean that some physical evidence of an attack would have degraded, but he added that other tell-tale markers of chemical weapons use will remain.

Asked to clarify the comments made by the USA representative at the OPCW, that Russian and Syrian personnel on site "may have" tampered with the evidence, Nauert simply read out the envoy's statement without further explanation.

OPCW inspectors have been attacked on two previous missions to the sites of chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

British Prime Minister Theresa May accused the Syrian government and its ally Russian Federation of trying to cover up evidence and obstruct the investigation. Syria and its allies blamed Israel for that attack.

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The United States, France and Britain launched 105 missiles on Saturday targeting what the Pentagon said were three chemical weapons facilities in Syria, in retaliation for a suspected poison gas attack in the Syrian town of Douma on April 7.

Douma was the last town to hold out in the besieged eastern Ghouta enclave, the last big rebel bastion near the capital Damascus.

The Syrian military later said a false alarm set off air defense systems early Tuesday, retracting earlier reports of a pre-dawn "outside aggression" on its airfields in the central Homs region and a suburb of Damascus. In contrast, a year after Mr. Trump responded to an apparent chemical weapons attack with a missile attack, apparently Syria did it again.

The details of the shooting are unclear, but while Douma was previously a rebel bastion, the city is now under Syrian control.

"Right now they don't have very good friends and right now the friends that they do have are causing them harm", Haley said, referring to Russian Federation.

"It's a clumsy effort to find an explanation if the claim of the chemical weapons use in Syria fails to get confirmation", Shulgin said at a briefing.

While the Israelis estimated that the strikes didn't hit the bulk of Assad's chemical weapons, it's hard to know exactly how much or where the weapons stores could be, as global inspectors certified that Syria had removed their weapons of mass destruction as a result of a deal between then-President Barack Obama and Russian Federation in 2013.

FILE - A child is treated in a hospital in Douma, near Damascus, Syria, after a suspected chemical attack, April 7, 2018.

'I am sorry to say her decision not to recall Parliament and engage in further military action in Syria last week showed a flagrant disregard for this convention, ' he said.

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