Published: Fri, April 20, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Syria chemical weapons probe stalled after United Nations team shot at

Syria chemical weapons probe stalled after United Nations team shot at

The United Nations security team was allowed to access and visit Douma on Tuesday, but a fact-finding mission for the chemical weapons to probe the site of the alleged attack is still awaiting entry.

During a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meeting, Russian Federation rejected France's proposal to the launch of an independent investigation due to an alleged chemical attack that struck the former rebel-held town of Douma in Syria's Eastern Ghouta.

Uzumcu did not say when the experts would next deploy.

"UNDSS in Damascus is now engaged in further discussions and coordination with representatives of the Syrian Arab Republic and the Russian military police on how to enhance and reinforce security arrangements in specific locations in Douma", it said.

Asked whether the usa still believes chemical weapons were used in Douma despite a lack of evidence so far, Nauert said they have information that leads them to believe that both chlorine and sarin gas were used in the attack.

The United States, Britain and France fired missiles at Syrian targets on Saturday in retaliation for the suspected chemical use.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Tuesday that US officials could not confirm whether the OPCW team had entered Douma and that any delay degrades evidence.

" 'It is our understanding the Russians may have visited the attack site, ' Ward said during a meeting Monday at The Hague". "At Site 2, the team came under small arms fire and an explosive was detonated".

An advance United Nations security team was shot at in Syria ahead of a planned fact-finding mission by chemical weapons inspectors, according to the head of an worldwide chemical weapons watchdog.

As with that investigation, the chemical weapons inspectors at Douma will carry out forensic work to find out what happened during the attack.

Semi in intersection at time of Humboldt Broncos bus crash: RCMP
The preliminary investigation determined the tractor-trailer was in the intersection at the time of the collision. As well numerous other documents and records have been collected on site such as log books.

A team from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons arrived in the Syrian capital, Damascus, on Saturday, with a mandate to investigate the attack.

Syrian state-run media reported that the country's air defences confronted a new "aggression", shooting down missiles over the central region of Homs early today.

The attack is the latest in many chemical attacks by the Syrian government on innocent civilians and "rebel groups" that have received condemnation from the global community.

"It is highly likely that evidence and essential elements disappear from the site, which is completely controlled by the Russian and Syrian armies", the French foreign ministry said.

In Tuesday's briefing, Nauert said the USA had information "that leads us to believe that both chlorine and sarin were used in the (April 7) attack".

British officials had claimed Russian Federation and Syria were preventing the visit.

The United States was not the only county to conduct strikes on the suspected Syrian government storage and control facilities.

"In order to do that, Russian Federation has asked this council to focus its attention on the one part of Syria where the Assad regime isn't pummeling civilians to death with barrel bombs or banned chemical weapons", Currie said.

It raises concerns that Russian Federation may have tampered with evidence at the site where dozens of civilians were killed.

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