OPCW inspectors 'not yet' allowed in Syria's Douma: UK delegation

Fighter jets were seen taking off from a British Royal Air Force base in Cyprus early on Saturday

Fighter jets were seen taking off from a British Royal Air Force base in Cyprus early on Saturday Credit AP

Eid had also appeared on CNN in April of 2017, after President Trump authorized a retaliatory strike on Syria for a similar chemical attack, and offered an emotional "thank you" to a president who was willing to challenge the brutal regime under which he had lived.

The Pentagon said the strikes hit three targets believed to have been involved in creating chemical weapons.

Global powers will not "turn a blind eye" to the use of of chemical weapons, the United Kingdom foreign secretary has warned a day after US-led strikes in Syria, according to a BBC News report said.

The scientific research facility in Barzeh, north of Damascus, was purported to be the centre of Bashar al-Assad's chemical weapons programme.

Talks were held behind closed doors at the Netherlands seat of the Nobel Peace prize-winning Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, two days after its mission arrived in Damascus.

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The targeted sites were largely empty but US President Donald Trump hailed a "perfectly executed" operation.

"The bottom line for me is that this latest strike changed nothing", said Nabeel Khoury, a former U.S. diplomat and now a fellow at the Atlantic Council think tank.

The allies also acted because of concerns that Syrian forces and their Russian allies may already have tried to clean up important evidence.

"That possibility always has to be taken into account, and investigators will look for evidence that shows whether the incident site has been tampered with", Ralf Trapp, a consultant and member of a previous OPCW mission to Syria, told AFP.

"Chemical weapons use has become an all too regular weapon of war in the Syrian conflict", Wilson said, going on to cite 390 allegations of chemical weapons attacks since 2014.

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Regime forces have since entered Douma and declared the entire Eastern Ghouta region around it fully retaken, ending a five-year siege and reclaiming an opposition bastion on the edge of the capital.

The Pentagon said no further action was planned but Washington's envoy to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, warned that the USA was "locked and loaded" should another gas attack occur.

Putin told his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani, also an Assad ally, that any new Western strikes in Syria would provoke "chaos in global relations", a Kremlin statement said.

Assad denounced a "campaign of deceit and lies at the (United Nations) Security Council" after a push by Moscow on Saturday to condemn the strikes fell far short.

Syria has lived through a seven-year civil war that has killed at least half a million people and created an worldwide refugee crisis. The Syrian government and its ally Russian Federation denied the allegations.

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