Wednesday, 21 April, 2021


Chemical weapons inspectors visit alleged gas attack site in Syria

The USS Ross fires a tomahawk land attack missile of the type fired at Syria earlier this month The USS Ross fires a tomahawk land attack missile of the type fired at Syria earlier this month
Bennie Garza | 20 April, 2018, 04:14

Strikes launched by the US, the United Kingdom and France against Syria are violations of the global law's principle of non-use of force, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, said Monday.

On Tuesday, the United Nations security team was escorted by Russian military police to two sites in Douma, a town near Damascus that was retaken last week following a Russian-backed Syrian offensive.

"It was a message from the people", said the official.

Washington-Moscow ties kept deteriorating over the suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria on April 7, as U.S. President Donald Trump accused Russian Federation, along with Iran, for their support of the Assad administration in Syria, whom Washington said should be responsible for the deadly incident.

The United States, Britain and France fired missiles at three Syrian targets on Saturday to punish President Bashar al-Assad for the suspected chemical attack, the first coordinated Western action against Assad in seven years of war.

The U.N. source did not say when the inspectors might visit the site, or whether a planned visit to Douma on Wednesday had been postponed.

The OPCW inspectors are in Syria to investigate a suspected gas attack, which took place on April 7 in Douma.

Dumayr is in the Qalamoun mountains, near the eastern Ghouta region which came under full government control last week after a weeks-long offensive and an alleged chemical weapons attack. "For a new diplomatic initiative to work, the balance on the ground must be changed. otherwise the regime backed by Russian Federation and Iran will still have the upper hand and no political transition is possible", said Nabeel Khoury.

Syrian air defence shot down missiles over the central province of Homs, the state news agency said on Tuesday, with the strikes reportedly targeting regime air bases.

A Pentagon spokesman referred Reuters to Mattis' warning to Assad and his forces to "not perpetrate another chemical weapons attack for which they will be held accountable".

Al-Ikhbariya TV says the fighters from the Army of Islam rebel group and their families have begun evacuating the town of Dumayr, bound for opposition-held areas in the north as part of the agreement. It also showed footage of what it says are weapons handed over to the Syrian military. 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.

Experts arrived in Damascus on Saturday, but they have been unable to visit the nearby town of Douma because of "security issues" cited by Russian Federation.

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