Inspectors reportedly reach alleged Syria chemical attack site

President Putin has demanded an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons will be given access to an alleged chemical attack site in Syria on Wednesday, Russia says.

Russian Federation has denied trying to obstruct the investigation and said the inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), who arrived in Damascus on Saturday, are due to visit Douma on Wednesday.

He said: "The Government's failure to seek - let alone obtain - parliamentary approval for these air strikes sets a precedent for potential and more risky future action not just in Syria, but other countries".

The OPCW experts are tasked with finding out whether chemical weapons were used in the April 7 strike.

Douma hospital workers who stayed in the town after the army recaptured it have said that none of the people injured on the night of the attack were exposed to chemical weapons.

The US, UK and France say that, based on open source information and their own intelligence, they are confident chlorine and possibly a nerve agent were used.

Russian military police were ready to help protect the OPCW experts on their visit to Douma, said Maj.

Earlier this month, four Iranian military personnel were killed in an airstrike on Syria's T4 air base, also in Homs.




The UK envoy to the OPCW, Peter Wilson, on Monday accused Syria and Russian Federation of blocking the team's access to the site, which Russian Federation denied.

Syrian and Russian officials had warned of "pending security issues to be worked out before any deployment could take place", Mr Uzumcu said. While he declared success, the Pentagon said the pummeling of three chemical-related facilities left enough others intact to enable the Assad government to use banned weapons against civilians if it chooses.

The alleged attack and subsequent military response underscored the challenge that the seven-year conflict in Syria poses for the West. President Donald Trump wants to remove USA troops from Syria, where it has been fighting the Islamic State militants. The British prime minister also accused the Syrian government of "attempting to hide the evidence" of the attack.

At least 40 people are believed to have died in the attack on Douma, which until Saturday was the last rebel-held town near Damascus.

United States officials have raised concerns that Russian Federation may have tampered with the site while inspectors were denied access. Israel did not confirm or deny the allegations.

"Not even a day passed after the missile strikes when their organizers started putting forward odd and political initiatives", Nebenzia said. Government forces and Russian troops have been deployed in Douma, which is now controlled by the Syrian government.

"It was Russian Federation that supported the request of the Syrian government to the Director General of the Technical Secretariat of the [Organization for the Prohibition of the Chemical Weapons] to send ... experts to Douma", the ministry's spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova said, dismissing the media allegations.

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