OPCW 'enters Syria's Douma' to probe gas attack allegation

Adjust Comment Print

We use cookies to give you the best experience on our website and bring you more relevant advertising.

Meanwhile MPs are to stage a second emergency debate in the space of 24 hours over Britain's role in missile strikes on Syria's chemical warfare facilities. The government-run Syrian Central Media said the missiles targeted the Shayrat air base in Homs.

In Douma, at least 40 people are believed to have died in the suspected chemical attack on April 7. Israel did not confirm or deny it.

The Syrian state news agency SANA earlier reported that the worldwide experts from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) had entered Douma to begin their investigation of whether chemical agents were used as a weapon.

France's foreign ministry on Tuesday said it was very likely that proof has disappeared from the site of a suspected poison gas attack in Syria, adding it was essential that global inspectors be given full access to the site.

Both Syria, which denies any chemical use, and Russian Federation, which provides military support to the Syrian government, have reacted against the action.

Zakharova said that disinformation campaign in Western media claiming that Moscow and Damascus "block" OPCW's team entry to Douma is unscrupulous.

The Syrian government and Russian Federation have denied using chemical weapons and accused rebels, with Western backing, of using such weapons or faking such an attack.

British Prime Minister Theresa May says Syria and Russian Federation - whose forces now control the town east of Damascus - are trying to cover up evidence.

Second World War bomb forces evacuation in Berlin
Berlin was reduced to ruins in 1945 and about 3000 unexploded bombs are believed to be still lying buried in the city. The British bomb has been removed, the main railway station has reopened and traffic is getting back to normal.

Journalists were allowed access to Douma on Monday.

"The team has not yet deployed to Douma", Uzumcu told an executive council meeting of the OPCW in The Hague.

"They are going to take samples and talk to witnesses, doctors and people who were there", she added.

Igor Kirillov, a Russian chemical weapons protection expert in The Hague, said the team is set to visit the site on Wednesday.

Syrian and Russian authorities prevented independent investigators from going to the scene of a suspected chemical attack, the head of the chemical watchdog group said Monday, blocking global efforts to establish what happened and who was to blame.

'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.

"I would like to remind you that Russian Federation can not block the work of the OPCW fact-finding team by definition".

The punitive attacks early on Saturday were launched before a fact-finding team from the OPCW was able to enter Douma and begin its fieldwork.

Comments