Inspectors' visit to suspected Syria gas attack site delayed

Lucy Bush
April 21, 2018

Almost two weeks after the brutal killings, inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons have still been unable to access the site.

The UK's OPCW delegation tweeted: "Russia & Syria have not yet allowed access to Douma".

First responders and activists say more than 40 people were killed in the April 7 attack, many found with foam around their mouths, a sign of suffocation. She said there are now no indications that Syria is preparing to use chemical weapons again.

A visit by chemical weapons inspectors to the site of a suspected gas attack in Syria was delayed on April 16, British and Russian officials said, as Western powers and Russia traded accusations in the aftermath of retaliatory US -led missile strikes.

Confusion over whether inspectors have access to 'chemical attack site'
He said he tried to enter the shelter but was overcome by a strong smell of chlorine and his comrades pulled him out. He spoke of the "outrage by images we've seen of children, women who died of a chlorine attack".

The United States does not have access to the sites in Syria, but continues to do post-strike analysis from a distance and from overhead imagery, he added.

U.S. President Donald Trump invited his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to the United States during a phone call, and said he would be glad to see Putin in the White House, RIA Novosti reported on Friday, citing the Russian Foreign Ministry. Syria is quite close to Russian Federation, whose own population is more than one-tenth Muslim, so Moscow was unwilling to let Islamist extremists win the Syrian civil war, and in September 2015 it intervened.

Moscow had warned the USA before the strike that it could hit back if the US actions jeopardize Russian servicemen in Syria, and the allies had given Russia an advance warning to make sure no Russians were in the line of fire.

But the US officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the available intelligence indicated that Assad's stock of chemicals and precursors was believed to be scattered far beyond the three targets.

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Their destination was Jarablus, a town under shared Turkish and Syrian opposition control near the Syria-Turkey border.

But experts have warned President Bashar al-Assad has not been put off and is already stepping up efforts to wipe out the last rebel enclaves of Syria's seven year civil war. Furthermore, the global chemical weapons watchdog agency is also preparing to inspect Syria. Colorful charts were used at a briefing in Moscow to demonstrate how effective the Russian-organized Syrian defenses were.

For all their global ambitions, Moscow and Beijing remain keenly focused on their own immediate backyards in Eastern Europe and Asia, deliberately designing their militaries to be able to push back against more limited United States forces in those areas.

Pentagon spokeswoman Dana W. White said there are no indications Syria is preparing to use chemical weapons again and there have been no reports of civilian casualties from the allied missile strikes.

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Syrian state media say hundreds of rebels fighters in a town northeast of Damascus have handed in their weapons and started to leave under an evacuation deal.

Other reports by Info About Network

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