Confusion over whether inspectors have access to 'chemical attack site'

Lucy Bush
April 20, 2018

The United States accused Russian Federation on Monday of blocking worldwide inspectors from reaching the site of the poison gas attack.

Syrian authorities distribute bread, vegetables and pasta to Douma residents.

United States officials said the assessment was that the strikes, particularly on Barzah, did degrade Syria's chemical weapons capability.

He spoke of the "outrage by images we've seen of children, women who died of a chlorine attack". Several said a unusual smell started spreading and people screamed, "It's chlorine!"

The U.S., France, and Britain launched missile strikes against suspected chemical weapons facilities one week later, after concluding that Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces were behind the attack.

OPCW inspectors have made it to Douma.

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Al-Ikhbariya TV says the fighters from the Army of Islam rebel group and their families have begun evacuating the town of Dumayr, bound for opposition-held areas in the north as part of the agreement.

State television did not mention three missiles that were fired at Dumair military airport, northeast of Damascus, that pro-Iranian Hezbollah's media service reported were intercepted by Syrian air defences.

Also, it's worth noting that no matter which party is found to have been blamed for the deaths in Douma, that so far, neither sanctions nor missile strikes have prevented the use of chemical weapons in the war.

The Pentagon denied any American military activity in the area. Moscow, meanwhile, has said that the devastation in Douma was faked by foreign intelligence agencies looking for a rationale to attack Syria.

The lack of access to Douma has left unanswered questions about the attack earlier this month.

Syria's United Nations ambassador Bashar Jaafari told the Security Council on Tuesday that the OPCW experts would begin their investigation once they received the all-clear from the United Nations team.

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A United Nations security team, however, reported gunfire at the location a day earlier, sources briefed on the team's deployment told Reuters on Wednesday.

The U.N. security team entered Douma to assess the situation ahead of the planned visit by inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), said the sources, who had been briefed on the team's deployment.

People get supplies in Douma.

The OPCW inspectors are in Syria to investigate an April 7 incident in which Western countries and rescue workers say scores of civilians were gassed to death by government forces, which Damascus denies. The Arab country and Russian Federation have suggested that the raid may have been a false flag aimed at justifying the Western military raids.

"It is our understanding the Russians may have visited the attack site", U.S. Ambassador Kenneth Ward said at an OPCW meeting on Monday, reports Reuters. A odd smell lingered, nine days after the attack. The French government agreed it was "highly likely" they had done so.

Instead, officials have offered up 22 people as witnesses for OPCW to interview. He said he tried to enter the shelter but was overcome by a strong smell of chlorine and his comrades pulled him out.

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Other reports by Info About Network

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