Inspectors Visit Site of Alleged Chemical Weapons Attack

Marsha Scott
April 25, 2018

Inspectors from the global chemical arms watchdog Saturday took samples in the Syrian town of Douma after an alleged poison gas attack, the body said.

In a press statement, the OPCW said its team had visited one of the two sites reportedly bombed in Douma on April 7.

The US, UK and France jointly bombed Syrian military sites last Saturday in retaliation for the alleged chemical attack, which the Syrian government and its allies, Russian Federation and Iran, deny even took place.

The OPCW team had not yet been able to begin its field work in Douma, where dozens were killed in a suspected 7 April gas attack, as Western powers warned that President Bashar al-Assad's regime may have attempted to remove crucial evidence.

The OPCW in a statement said it would now evaluate and consider whether the team needs to make a second visit to Douma.

Syrian state TV had reported earlier this week the inspectors were in Douma, but in it later emerged they had not left the capital Damascus. "They were not injured and returned to Damascus".

That further delayed the worldwide weapons inspectors, who arrived in Damascus last weekend to try to determine what happened in early April.

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The Syrian government and its ally Russian Federation have denied responsibility for the attack.

"So, if you are in control of a site with chemicals for such a long time, it's very easy actually to tamper with the place and to change the facts on the ground".

Why do that if Assad's military forces had already won full control of the last rebel stronghold in Syria's capital city region, with an agreement, already being implemented, to ship the rebels out of the city?

The rebels surrendered after the attack, and Damascus had declared the area "clear of terrorists", its usual term for the rebels, six days ago.

Syrian government forces will take over the towns once the departures are complete.

Meanwhile, UN Security Council member states meeting in a remote farmhouse in Backakra on the southern tip of Sweden on Saturday were discussing the Syrian file and a new SC Resolution.

United Nations officials and human rights groups say the evacuations amount to a forced population displacement that may be a war crime.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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