ibusinesslines.com July 23, 2018

Russia: Chemical weapons inspection delayed due to West's airstrikes

17 April 2018, 09:56 | Erica Roy

A missile is seen crossing over Damascus

US-led strikes on Syria likely aimed at thwarting OPCW probe into ‘chemical attack’– Russian senator

Russian Federation is denying any attempt to prevent access or scrub the site and is instead blaming the delay on the USA led airstrikes.

"Russia confirms its commitment to ensure safe (sic) and security of the mission and will not interfere in its work", the Russian embassy in The Hague said in a tweet.

Syrian state media early Tuesday said air defence had shot down missiles over the central province of Homs, with the strikes reportedly targeting regime air bases.

The global chemical watchdog on Monday opened emergency talks on the suspected poison gas attack in the Syrian town of Douma, diplomatic sources told AFP.

In a conference call with reporters on Saturday, senior USA administration officials said they had a large volume of clear and compelling information, both of chemical weapons use and of President Bashar al-Assad's culpability in the attack.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has been "working in close collaboration" with United Nations security experts "to assess the situation and ensure the safety of the team", it said.

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.

Its team on the ground also faced the risk of arriving too late to a site where much of the evidence may have always been removed or tampered with.

"They will go directly to any sort of companies that were dealing with equipment related to Assad and chemical-weapons use", Haley said.

"I can guarantee that Russian Federation has not tampered with the site", he told the BBC.

Despite polls showing scant support for the move, May said it had been her "responsibility as prime minister to make these decisions", while Macron also defended his move as part of his constitutional powers.

The OPCW will determine whether chemical weapons were used, but will not assign blame.

The government, however, said evacuations were continuing and no Syrian government forces had entered the town.

OPCW inspectors have raised questions about the SSRC since 2013, when Damascus joined the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention and agreed to do away with its stockpile to avert threatened strikes under President Barack Obama.

Douma and the sprawling eastern Ghouta region near the capital, Damascus, had been under rebel control since 2012 and was a thorn in the side of President Bashar Assad's government for years.

The US and the United Kingdom both have both accused Russian Federation of impeding the inspectors. "Suffocation cases arrived as a result of the debris, dust, fire and smoke".

The report showed people waving Syrian flags, alongside those of Iran and Russia- the main allies of Syrian President Bashar Assad during years of the country's conflict - in the face of what many called "limited" or even "failed" strikes created to punish Assad for his alleged use of chemical weapons.

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