Russian military reports discovery of chemical weapon facility in Douma

Russian military reports discovery of chemical weapon facility in Douma

The fact that the strike took place on the very same day as when Damascus and Moscow-invited OPCW probe mission was to start work shows an intention to disrupt investigations for fear they might confirm Russian specialists' findings that no traces of chemical agents were found at the site, nor alleged victims were admitted at nearby hospitals.

It is of the least importance to the USA and its allies, who rushed to blame the Syrian government for the attack - backed by Russian Federation and Iran - without waiting for the OPCW to conduct a probe. Global chemical weapons inspectors were expected to visit the site on Wednesday, but the visit has now been postponed and it is unknown when it will take place.

French Ambassador Francois Delattre and British Ambassador Karen Pierce said the Security Council should use what happened as an opportunity to restart United Nations -facilitated negotiations. "Shots were fired yesterday at a United Nations security team doing a reconnaissance in Douma", the official told AFP.

But on April 13, when he announced the strikes, Trump said the USA would be undertaking a sustained diplomatic, military and economic response to stop the use of chemical weapons, and officials said the United States would remain focused on defeating ISIS. "This incident again highlights the highly volatile environment in which the [team] is having to work and the security risks our staff are facing".

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Confusion has swirled over when a fact-finding team of experts from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) will be able to enter the city of Douma, prompting concerns that repeated delays could stymie its mission.

Maj. -Gen. Yuri Yevtushenko said "a Syrian security employee received light wounds during the crossfire". Western diplomats and weapons experts have underlined that time is of the essence if inspectors are going to figure out exactly what took place.

Fighters from the Army of Islam and their families were to leave the town of Dumayr as part of the arrangement, the state-affiliated al-Ikhbariya TV station said.

Russian Federation and the Syrian government have denied responsibility for the alleged attack, which took place during a government assault on the then rebel-held town.

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Dumayr is near the eastern Ghouta region, which came under full government control last week after a weekslong offensive and an alleged chemical weapons attack.

The U.S. State Department has accused the Syrian government and its ally Russian Federation of trying to cover up the alleged April 7 attack.

The suspected April 7 gas attack on Douma, near Damascus, reportedly left more than 40 people dead and was blamed by Western powers on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

"There needs to be a comprehensive strategy here laid out by the administration for Congress in terms of the options to pursue because of the urgency", House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce said during a House panel Wednesday. Spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Tuesday the USA did not believe the inspectors had entered Douma, and that the evidence is at risk of decaying as delays drag on.

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