Inspectors Not Allowed Into Suspected Chemical Attack Site Just Yet

Inspectors Not Allowed Into Suspected Chemical Attack Site Just Yet

Sergey Lavrov said Russian experts have inspected the site of the alleged attack in Douma, just east of Damascus, and found no trace of chemical weapons.

Moscow blamed the delay on the air strikes, in which the United States, France and Britain targeted what the Pentagon said were three chemical weapons facilities.

British, Russian and French ambassadors were all seen arriving at the headquarters of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague.

It was not known who carried out the attack, with Pentagon spokeswoman Heather Babb saying: "There are no United States or coalition operations in that area".

Jaish al-Islam has said it only agreed to the deal because of the Syrian government's purported use of toxic chemicals on Douma, which medics said killed more than 40 people.

The team is reportedly waiting nearby in Damascus for permission to enter. "And on Wednesday is when we plan the arrival of the OPCW experts", he told a press conference in the Russian embassy in The Hague, explaining the roads were still being cleared of mines.

Russian military officials were at the site of the Douma attack days before the OPCW reached Damascus, leading to fears that the site might have been tampered with.

The Kremlin dismissed the claims.

Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mokdad said several coordination meetings were held with the OPCW team but he did not provide any further details as their schedule.

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He said Moscow has "irrefutable information that it was another fabrication".

"They will go directly to any sort of companies that were dealing with equipment related to Assad and chemical-weapons use", Haley said. Syria and Russian Federation called for an OPCW inquiry into the claims.

Despite polls showing scant support for the move, May said it had been her "responsibility as prime minister to make these decisions", while Macron also defended his move as part of his constitutional powers.

The OPCW had recorded 390 allegations of the use of banned chemicals in Syria since 2014 he said, and a failure by the OPCW to act risked allowing "further barbaric use of chemical weapons".

"It is long overdue that this council condemns the Syrian government for its reign of chemical terror and demands global accountability for those responsible for these heinous acts", Ward was quoted as saying.

A Russian veto at the United Nations last November means the OPCW is empowered only to state if chemical weapons have been used, and not to attribute responsibility.

Regime forces have since entered Douma and declared the entire Eastern Ghouta region around it fully retaken, ending a five-year siege and reclaiming an opposition bastion on the edge of the capital.

The agency, set up to ensure the destruction of chemical armaments, is due to assess the scene and take samples from alleged attack victims to determine the cause and potentially uncover the perpetrators.

Medical student Marwan Jaber said no chemical weapons were used on April 7.

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