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World Syrians and Russians stop inspectors from visiting site of suspected chemical attack

06:55  17 april  2018
06:55  17 april  2018 Source:   msn.com

The Logic of Assad's Brutality

  The Logic of Assad's Brutality Bashar al-Assad, the president of Syria, might have great contempt for the sanctity of human life, but he is not a reckless strategist. ..Bashar al-Assad, the president of Syria, might have great contempt for the sanctity of human life, but he is not a reckless strategist.

International inspectors dispatched to probe a suspected chemical -gas attack on Syrian civilians were held up Monday by Russia and the government of A man rides past destruction in the town of Duma, the site of a suspected chemical weapons attack , near Damascus, Syria , on April 16, 2018.

Aftermath of suspected chemical attack in rebel-held Douma in Syria - video. Inspectors from the international chemical weapons watchdog are to start an investigation into an attack on a A Syrian man collects samples from the site of a suspected toxic gas attack in Khan Sheikhun in April 2017.

a group of people standing in front of a mountain: Saeed Saeed, head of the Institute for the Development of Pharmaceutical and Chemical Industries, speaks to reporters in front of the research center, which was hit by the U.S.-led missile attacks in the Barzeh neighborhood, on Saturday, April 14, 2018. Saeed denied the facility was in possession of chemical weapons.© Monsef Memary/Xinhua/Zuma Press/ZUMAPRESS.COM/TNS Saeed Saeed, head of the Institute for the Development of Pharmaceutical and Chemical Industries, speaks to reporters in front of the research center, which was hit by the U.S.-led missile attacks in the Barzeh neighborhood, on Saturday, April 14, 2018. Saeed denied the facility was in possession of chemical weapons. Inspectors from an international agency sent to collect air, water and ground samples from the site of a suspected poison gas attack in Syria this month were blocked Monday by Russian and Syrian forces for security reasons, the watchdog group's director said.

The Logic of Assad's Brutality

  The Logic of Assad's Brutality Bashar al-Assad, the president of Syria, might have great contempt for the sanctity of human life, but he is not a reckless strategist. ..The Syrian regime’s suspected chemical-weapons attack on Sunday in Douma, a suburb of Damascus, suggests that Assad and his allies have accomplished many of their primary war aims, and are now seeking to secure their hegemony in the Levant. But two major factors still complicate Assad’s plans. One is Syria’s population, which to this day includes rebels who will fight to the death and civilians who nonviolently but fundamentally reject his violent, totalitarian rule.

LONDON — Chemical arms inspectors were blocked on Monday from the site of what is suspected of having been a poison attack by Syria ’s military near Mr. Uzumcu also said the Russians and Syrians had offered the inspectors an opportunity to interview 22 witnesses to the Douma attack .

Moscow and Syrian regime say security issues mean site can’t be inspected , as Trump delays sanctions against Russians . Meanwhile, the Trump administration delayed action on sanctions against Russians suspected of helping Syria ’s chemical weapons programme, contradicting

The delay in obtaining independent confirmation of suspected chemical weapons use came as the White House postponed plans to add sanctions on Russia for what the Trump administration said was its support of Syrian President Bashar Assad's poison gas program.

Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, had said Sunday that new sanctions would be announced Monday, but the White House pulled back. "We are considering additional sanctions on Russia, and a decision will be made in the near future," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters.

She did not say if Haley had misspoken or if President Donald Trump had changed his mind to avoid worsening relations with Moscow. The Trump administration has taken an increasingly tough line on Russia even as the president has been reluctant to criticize President Vladimir Putin for his government's meddling in the 2016 U.S. election and other actions.

How the West might strike Syria

  How the West might strike Syria US President Donald Trump vowed Wednesday that missiles would be launched at Syria following a suspected chemical attack, virtually ensuring a military strike against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. The question now becomes what the United States, probably with France and Britain, will hit in war-torn Syria, and what are the risks of escalation and miscalculation with Assad allies Russia and Iran. What will it target? The United States and its allies France and Britain want to send a clear and definitive message to Assad that the future use of chemical weapons will not be tolerated.

After repeated delays, international inspectors from the OPCW reached the site of a suspected chemical weapons attack near Damascus on Saturday. The Foreign Ministry of Russia said Saturday that Russian and Syrian forces had ensured safe passage for the O.P.C.W. group and

Dozens killed in suspected chemical attack on Syrian rebel enclave. Russia and Syria had invited the OPCW to investigate the attack in Douma, which they had hoped would stave off the The attack killed at least 42 people and refocused global attention on the violence in Syria , provoking a pledge of

The confusion emerged as nine inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons waited in Damascus for permission to visit Duma, a suburb east of the Syrian capital that was attacked on April 7.

U.S. officials say Assad's forces killed more than 40 people, including children, with chlorine gas and possibly sarin, a banned nerve agent. But U.S. intelligence has been unable to collect ironclad evidence of which chemical agents were used.

U.S. and British officials have accused Russian units in Duma of trying to hide or tamper with evidence of the chemical attack, a claim Moscow denies.

Trump on Syria attack: 'very soon or not so soon at all!'

  Trump on Syria attack: 'very soon or not so soon at all!' President Donald Trump was evasive Thursday about when the United States might attack Syria in retaliation for an alleged chemical weapons assault, saying it could be "very soon or not so soon at all!"A day after warning starkly that "missiles will be coming," Trump in another early morning tweet storm wrote: "Never said when an attack on Syria would take place.

Russia says international chemical weapons experts will be allowed to visit the site of a suspected chemical attack in Syria Wednesday. That would be about

Syria and Russia deny unleashing poison gas on April 7 during their offensive on Douma, which ended with the recapture of the town that had been the last rebel stronghold near the capital Damascus. Relief organizations say dozens of men, women and children were killed. Footage of young victims foaming

Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said in New York that the OPCW team had all "necessary clearances" to collect samples in Duma.

But Ahmet Uzumcu, director general of the OPCW, which is based in The Hague, said in a report to member states that Syrian and Russian officials had contended "there were still pending security issues to be worked out before any deployment could take place."

Uzumcu expressed hope the inspectors could visit Duma "as soon as possible."

U.S., French and British forces fired more than 100 missiles at three targets in Syria early Saturday in retaliation for the Duma attack. The three facilities developed, produced or stored chlorine or sarin, Pentagon officials said, and all appeared heavily damaged.

Syria has denied stockpiling or using chemical weapons, which are illegal under international law. Russia, which backs Assad, also has denied that a chemical attack occurred and noted that it initially invited the weapons inspectors to Duma.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday repeated his government's assertions that no chemical attack took place and said photographs and videos that showed people choking to death and other symptoms of chemical poisoning were "staged."

Speaking to the BBC, Lavrov angrily condemned Washington's attempts to blame and punish Russia, saying relations between the two countries were worse than during the Cold War.

The latest evidence came with a joint warning Monday from the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and the British government. They said a new wave of Russian "cyberespionage and aggression" had targeted governments and private companies through digital attacks on cyber infrastructure like routers and firewalls.

A British government spokesman said the joint warning sent a "clear message to Russia: We know what you are doing and you will not succeed."

Syria probe mission on hold amid security fears .
The world's chemical arms watchdog froze its probe into an alleged chemical attack near Damascus Wednesday, demanding "unhindered access" after a United Nations reconnaissance mission came under fire. Four days after reaching the Syrian capital, international inspectors had yet to begin their field work in Douma, where dozens were killed in a suspected gas attack widely blamed on President Bashar al-Assad's forces.The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said its fact-finding mission (FFM) would be forced to stay put in Damascus if its safety was not guaranteed.

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