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World OPCW inspectors 'not yet' allowed in Syria's Douma: UK delegation

15:36  16 april  2018
15:36  16 april  2018 Source:   aljazeera.com

Syria invites OPCW to investigate alleged chemical attack in Douma

  Syria invites OPCW to investigate alleged chemical attack in Douma The Syrian government has invited the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to send a team to investigate allegations of a chemical attack in the eastern Ghouta town of Douma, state media reported on Tuesday.The suspected chemical weapons attack late on Saturday killed at least 60 people, with more than 1,000 injured at several sites in Douma, a town near the capital, Damascus, according to the Union of Medical Care Organizations.

Chemical weapons inspectors have not yet been allowed access to Syria ' s Douma , UK officials said as the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons ( OPCW ) met to discuss the "alleged use of chemical weapons " in Syria .

Chemical weapons inspectors have not yet been allowed access to Syria ' s Douma , UK officials said as the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

The OPCW won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 for its work in destroying Syria's chemical weapons stockpile [File: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters]© Provided by Al Jazeera The OPCW won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 for its work in destroying Syria's chemical weapons stockpile [File: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters]

Chemical weapons inspectors have not yet been allowed access to Syria's Douma, UK officials said as the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) met to discuss the "alleged use of chemical weapons" in Syria.

"Russia and Syria have not yet allowed access to Douma," the British delegation tweeted on Sunday, adding that "unfettered access [is] essential" and "Russia and Syria must cooperate".

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov immediately denied the allegations that inspectors were not being allowed access, according to Russian news agency RIA.

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British ambassador to chemical weapons watchdog @ OPCW says Russian assertions that U. S . strikes prevented inspectors from reaching Douma 'make no sense'. Putin speaks with Iran' s President Rouhani following US, UK and French missile strike in Syria .

Chemical weapons inspectors have not yet been allowed access to Syria ’ s Douma , UK officials said as the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons ( OPCW ) met to discuss the “alleged use of chemical weapons ” in Syria .

He said the arrival of the inspectors were delayed as a result of the US-led air strikes on Saturday.

The OPCW, an intergovenmental organisation that oversees the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, met with delegates in The Hague on Monday to discuss events surrounding the April 7 attack in Douma.

Syrian government forces retook Douma last week, gaining full control over the former rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta, Russian military officials announced at the time.

The announcement came just days after dozens people were killed by alleged chemical weapons attack in the town, sparking international outcry and prompting the US, UK and France to launch missile strikes on facilities believed to be used to research, develop and store chemical weapons inside Syria.

Chemical inspectors to be allowed in Douma

  Chemical inspectors to be allowed in Douma Russia says investigators will be allowed to visit the alleged chemical attack site on Wednesday.The international team has been in the country since Saturday, but has not been allowed to visit Douma.

The UK ’ s OPCW delegation tweeted: “Russia & Syria have not yet allowed access to Douma . Over the weekend the OPCW sent inspectors on a fact-finding visit to Douma to search for evidence and interview witnesses.

Russia and Syria had invited the OPCW to investigate the attack in Douma , which they had hoped would stave off the threat of retaliation by the west. Syria chemical attack: weapons inspectors to investigate site.

The Chemical Weapons Convention outlaws the production or stockpiling of chemical weapons.

Syria is a signatory of the treaty. Egypt, Israel, North Korea and South Sudan are the only nonsignatory nations.

'Barbaric use of chemical weapons'

Peter Wilson, the UK's OPCW envoy, told the watchdog body that failure to act in Syria will cause "further barbaric use of chemical weapons.

Syria has lived through a seven-year civil war that has killed at least half a million people and created an international refugee crisis.

"The Syrian Regime has an abhorrent record of using chemical weapons against its own people. Chemical weapons use has become an all too regular weapon of war in the Syrian conflict," Wilson said, going on to cite 390 allegations of chemical weapons attacks since 2014.

Russia has impeded international bodies from investigating these attacks, Wilson added.

Russia told the UN last Friday that its experts found no trace of "toxic substance use" during their investigation in Douma.

Vassily Nebenzia, Russia's UN ambassador, said Russia has "clear evidence" that the chemical attack was staged.

For its part, France has said it has evidence Russia was responsible.

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has said her country will announce new sanctions on the Russian government in response to its support for Syria's Bashar al-Assad.

Watchdog looking into Syria attack visits 2nd site in Douma .
Experts from the global chemical weapons watchdog visited the site as they probe an alleged poison gas attack earlier this month, the body said. "Today, the FFM (fact-finding mission) team carried out a visit to a second location in Douma. It also collected samples at this site," the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said in a statement. It is the team's second visit to Douma after it managed to gain access to the town on Saturday for the first time since deploying to Damascus on April 14.

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