Inspectors Not Allowed Into Suspected Chemical Attack Site Just Yet

  • Inspectors Not Allowed Into Suspected Chemical Attack Site Just Yet

Inspectors Not Allowed Into Suspected Chemical Attack Site Just Yet

The global chemical arms watchdog held emergency talks Monday in The Hague on an alleged Syrian regime attack on Douma, where a team of its experts was beginning its field work.

Russian Federation is denying any attempt to prevent access or scrub the site and is instead blaming the delay on the US led airstrikes.

Russia - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's main military backer - denied interfering with evidence at the site of the suspected chemical attack, asserting that it has consistently supported an investigation into the suspected gas attack. European Union foreign ministers threatened similar measures.

Witnesses and Western governments said helicopters dropped sarin and chlorine bombs that killed many children and women who were sheltering from the fighting between rebels and government troops. Footage of young victims foaming at the mouth and weeping in agony has thrust Syria's civil war - in which half a million people have been killed in the past seven years - to the forefront of world concern again.

The four nations confronted each other intense emergency talks at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague as inspectors prepare for a hard and risky mission.

On Thursday, Russia's military said Douma had been brought under full control of the Syrian government under a Russia-mediated deal that secured the evacuation of the rebels and thousands of civilians after it was recaptured by Syrian forces.

Western states have used those videos as proof of Damascus' involvement in the alleged chemical attack in order to launch strikes against Syria. The US suggestion was based on the fact that Russian military police visited the site. "Russia and Syria must cooperate".

Following weekend missile strikes on Syria by the US, France, and Britain, Russia traded accusations with Western nations on Monday, dismissing as "a blatant lie" accusations that Moscow was hindering the investigation in Douma.

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.

The OPCW fact-finding team was expected to enter Douma, under regime security escort, to take samples and collect various types of evidence connected to the attack. "Therefore, allegations of this kind against Russian Federation are groundless", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

The director-general of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons told a meeting of the OPCW executive council that inspectors had not been allowed to visit the town outside Damascus, the United Kingdom delegation said.