Chemical weapons investigators to visit Syrian attack site

Among the contentious proposals, the draft resolution would establish an independent investigation of allegations of toxic gas attacks in Syria with the aim of identifying the perpetrators.

Those facts might point to one side or another, but the OPCW can not make any official conclusion about who the perpetrators were, at Douma or elsewhere.

Russian Federation and close ally Syria deny responsibility for a suspected poison gas attack in the Damascus suburb of Douma on April 7.

Shulgin extended his gratitude to the OPCW investigators for their work in Douma and called on the organization's executive council to adopt a document supporting their efforts.

The U.S. President Donald Trump had placed the blame of the chemical attack on Assad and had shunned Russian Federation and Iran for backing an animal up. But its mandate expired last November.

Syrian state TV and the White Helmets volunteer rescue group said separately on Tuesday that the OPCW team had arrived in the area, only to be contradicted by a US State Department spokeswoman.

In response, the U.S., Britain, and France launched a strike against three of the regime's chemical weapons facilities-a move Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov suggested was the reason inspectors couldn't get quick access to the city.

U.S., U.K., and French authorities believe the agent used was probably chlorine, possibly aided by a suspected "nerve agent".

"All of a sudden some gas spread around us, we couldn't breathe". It also showed footage of what it says are weapons handed over to the Syrian military.

This isn't the first security-related setback for the fact-finding team.

On Monday, as the Guardian reported at the time, OPCW attempted to reach the site of the suspected attack in order to carry out an inspection.

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Hours after the alleged chemical attack, the rebel faction that controlled the town, the Army of Islam, relented and was evacuated along with thousands of residents.

OPCW inspectors will want to speak with victims about where they were when it the attack happened and what symptoms they experienced.

Where safety permits, they have examined bomb sites for chemical residues. They will interview witnesses and medical staff.

Rice also admitted in her remarks that the Assad regime apparently did not destroy its chemical weapons.

Russia's military said it uncovered a chemical weapons stockpile left behind by rebels in Douma on Tuesday.

But a Turkish presidential source said, following telephone talks between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani, that the two sides had vowed the alliance must continue.

Nebenzia also warned that the West's military actions have set aside the possibility of a political solution to Syria's war, not in its eighth year.

Haley said the U.S. would not pull its troops out of Syria until its goals were accomplished.

According to a United Nations source who spoke to Reuters News Agency, inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons' (OPCW) who arrived in Syria some days ago have postponed their entry to the site as a result of reported gunfire. As they spoke, government troops were not far away but out of earshot. Russian Federation has denied a chemical attack took place at all, saying it was faked.

The OPCW's fact-finding team includes nine volunteers, who are likely to stay in the country for several days. One Syrian security officer was injured in a resulting firefight, according to a statement by the Russian military.

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