Published: Sat, April 21, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Chemical weapons inspectors enter Douma but await 'green light' to start work

Chemical weapons inspectors enter Douma but await 'green light' to start work

"The Syrian regime has reportedly been attempting to hide the evidence by searching evacuees from Douma to ensure samples are not being smuggled from this area, and a wider operation to hide the facts of the attack is under way, supported by the Russians", she said.

In the fraught aftermath of the suspected attack in Douma and the West's response, Washington also prepared to increase pressure on Russia, Syrian regime leader Bashar al-Assad's main ally, with new economic sanctions.

Less than one year later, Syria destroyed its hoard of declared chemical weapons, as verified by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

The U.S., United Kingdom and France launched missile strikes targeting three chemical weapons facilities in Syria on Friday. "It is very likely that proof and essential elements are disappearing from this site". The civil war, however, is more complex as every faction involved has its own foreign guarantor, making Syria a war of proxies. "Russia and Syria must co-operate".

Damascus is the capital of the Syrian Republic.

It has been more than a week since the attack in which witnesses and Western governments described helicopters dropping sarin and chlorine bombs that killed many children and women hiding from clashes between rebels and government troops.

Foreign ministers concluded: "We strongly condemn the continued and repeated use of chemical weapons by the regime in Syria, including the latest attack on Douma, which is a grave breach of global law and an affront to human decency".

Syria and its ally Russian Federation deny any chemical attack took place in the town of Douma.

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The Russian Defense Ministry said the attack lasted from 03:42 to 05:10 Syrian time [UTS + 3 hrs] and the Syrian Air Defense units brought down 71 of the 103 missiles, which the attacking nations had launched. "We confined it to the chemical weapons-type targets", he said. "But it was the world saying that we've had enough of the use of chemical weapons". They did not offer evidence to back up their claims, which were made in the presence of media "guides" from the Damascus government.

Mr Corbyn - who repeated his assertion that the action was "legally questionable" - faced jeers from Tory MPs after telling Mrs May she was "accountable to this Parliament, not to the whims of the United States president".

Its mission, which was requested by the Syrian government, is to determine whether chemical weapons were used but not who the perpetrator was.

What did Lavrov say exactly?

The Assad regime and its backers in Moscow deny the use of chemical weapons in Douma, but previous denials by the regime about chemical weapons use have proved to be false.

In France, the conservatives, the far-left and the far-right have all criticised the strikes.

She told parliament the decision to conduct air strikes against Syria was in the British national interest and not as a result of pressure from Trump. The French Constitution bars presidents from going to parliament and President Emmanuel Macron will therefore not be questioned by law makers.

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