OPCW starts emergency talks on Douma attacks

OPCW starts emergency talks on Douma attacks

The mission of experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to probe the use of chemical weapons in Syria's Douma stalled on Monday amid USA accusations against Russian Federation that it meddled with the site of the attack.

Moscow denied the charge and blamed delays on retaliatory US-led missile strikes on Syria at the weekend.

The missiles that US, French, and British warships fired on suspected chemical facilities Saturday constituted the biggest Western attack against the regime in the seven-year war to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. European Union foreign ministers threatened similar measures.

The director-general of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons told a meeting of the OPCW executive council that inspectors had not been allowed to visit the town outside Damascus, the United Kingdom delegation tweeted. The Russian military said they'd be allowed in Wednesday.

The April 7 strike on Douma, in which most experts say chlorine as well as an agent such as sarin were used, killed at least 40 people, according to local medics.

The OPCW chief, Ahmet Uzumcu, told the meeting his inspectors had failed to gain access to the site.

"It is our understanding the Russians may have visited the attack site", US Ambassador Kenneth Ward said at an OPCW meeting in The Hague on Monday.

More news: Syrian air defences shoot down missiles over two air bases
More news: Ghana Ends Commonwealth Games With One Medal
More news: # 039, President Trump &;s Re Election Effort raised $10 million Thus Much

"We are concerned they may have tampered with it with the intent of thwarting the efforts of the OPCW fact-finding mission to conduct an effective investigation", he added in his speech, which was shared with news agencies.

The OPCW, whose members include Syria, Russia, the UK, France, and Russia, issued a statement on Saturday saying the investigation into the alleged use of illegal chemical weapons will continue.

The US envoy told the closed-door talks that Russian Federation may have "tampered" with the site of the attack.

Britain's delegation to the OPCW accused Russian Federation and the Assad regime of stopping inspectors from reaching Douma.

Faisal Mekdad, Syria's deputy foreign minister, said on Monday that government officials have met with the delegation, which has been in Damascus for three days, a number of times to discuss cooperation.

The US launched military strikes on Friday night, alongside United Kingdom and French forces, aimed at reducing the Syrian regime's chemical weapons facilities. This was at the very beginning after this information [about the attack] appeared.

The director-general of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons told a meeting of the OPCW executive council that inspectors had not been allowed to visit the town outside Damascus, the United Kingdom delegation said.

Related Articles