Sunday, 21 July, 2019


Syria's chemical attacks: A timeline of the war's confirmed cases

Chemical weapons inspectors seek access to Duma after U.N. security team faces gunfire explosion Residents walk and bike past damaged buildings on a street in Duma in an official government
Bennie Garza | 20 April, 2018, 10:30

Global chemical weapons inspectors Tuesday entered Douma, the Syrian town that was the site of a suspected poison gas attack that led to Western airstrikes against the Syrian government, state media reported.

SANA news agency said earlier that OPCW experts had arrived in Douma on Tuesday and had immediately begun their fact-finding mission.

Western countries are making a push both at the OPCW in The Hague and the United Nations in the NY to secure wider diplomatic support for a clampdown on the use of chemical weapons in the Syria.

Douma was the latest chemical barrage in a five-year outlay of incidents across Syria, some of them resulting in the deadliest incidents of the protracted conflict that in March entered its eighth year. "I am confident that they will have full access, without any restrictions or impediments to perform their activities", Guterres added.

The OPCW said Tuesday that Russian Federation and Syria had blocked the inspectors' access to Douma, a former opposition stronghold, citing security issues.

United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley announced on April 15 that the USA would be implementing a new batch of sanctions against Russian Federation for propping up Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad despite his use of chemical weapons.

Priority must be given to boosting the work of the world's chemical arms watchdog so it can dismantle Syria's "secret" toxic weapons program, the French ambassador said.

A source familiar with the matter told CBN News more than a dozen entities, including banks and equipment suppliers, are being looked at and at least several are expected to be sanctioned.

Russian Federation is Europe's biggest gas supplier and, while the European Union has imposed significant sanctions on Moscow's financial, energy and defence sectors over the crisis in Ukraine, close ties between Russian Federation and some European Union members complicate discussions about new punitive measures.

The country's foreign minister, Linas Linkevičius, said, "Only decisive action will make it possible to adjust the regime's policy and send a very clear message to those countries supporting Assad, Russia and Iran". There's no danger that Assad will conclude that he can use chemical weapons without effect.

He said the inspectors can not access the site because it needs permission from United Nations security experts.

"Use of chemical weapons is a breach of the Chemical Weapons Convention and constitutes a threat to worldwide peace and security".

The Pentagon said the strikes hit three targets believed to have been involved in creating chemical weapons.

The Assad regime denied carrying out a chemical attack, and Russian Federation, which is supporting the Syrian government in the civil war, claimed there was no evidence of it taking place after its own investigators went to the scene.

President Bashar al-Assad's government said on Monday it was ready to cooperate and facilitate the work of the OPCW team, but did not say when they would go to the site.

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