Global inspectors enter Douma, site of alleged Syrian chemical attack

The USS Ross fires a tomahawk land attack missile of the type fired at Syria earlier this month

The USS Ross fires a tomahawk land attack missile of the type fired at Syria earlier this month

The United States has reliable information that Russian Federation and Syria were trying "to carry out sanitization of the" places of alleged use of chemical weapons in the Duma, at the same time trying to delay the inspectors from the Organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons (OPCW) to the crime scene. The visit has been put on hold and the United Nations says the security team must return to check out security measures before the fact-finding mission from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons can go to Douma.

"The OPCW will evaluate the situation and consider future steps including another possible visit to Douma", the organization said in a statement.

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The obstruction is likely aimed at ensuring that proof of the attack disappears, he said, adding that the OPCW must have full, immediate and unimpeded access to the site. "Russian officials cooperated with the Syrian regime for the disinfection of the place of alleged attacks and eliminate the evidence of chemical weapons use", said Neuert.

When asked if she was concerned Russian Federation had tampered with evidence of the attack believed to have killed 75, Ms Pierce said: "It has to be a possibility, and one could construe... that was responsible for the delay".

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Physicians for Human Rights, a US-based rights group, voiced "grave concern" over reports that Douma hospital staff had faced "extreme intimidation" after the area came back under government control to stop them talking about the incident. "There are multilateral mechanisms for that, the OPCW [the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons] may be engaged, and we actually did it a week ago", she added.

However, on April 14, the United States, in coordination with the United Kingdom and France, launched missile strikes on Syria's military and civilian infrastructure facilities, claiming it to be a response to the alleged chemical weapons attack. "It is not about regime change". "I don't think it burnished his image at all".

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