Chemical weapons inspectors reach Douma to probe gas attack

The suspected chemical attack in Douma was met with air strikes by the US France and the UK

The suspected chemical attack in Douma was met with air strikes by the US France and the UK

Chemical weapons inspectors visited the site of the alleged chemical attack in Syria's Douma, the Russian Foreign ministry said Saturday.

"Russian officials cooperated with the Syrian regime for the disinfection of the place of alleged attacks and eliminate the evidence of chemical weapons use", said Neuert.

The Pentagon said on Thursday that while there were no signs the Syrian government was preparing to launch a chemical weapons attack, they still retained the ability to launch limited attacks in the future, Reuters reported."They do retain a residual capability".

The OPCW team have been held up in Damascus despite being scheduled to enter Douma on Wednesday, after a United Nations risk-assessment team came under fire while checking sites on Tuesday.

US military strikes on Syria last week removed any moral obligation Russia had to withhold S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems from its ally Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday, according to RIA state news agency.

That security team was met with a large crowd at the first inspection site. However, Russia has stood in the way of every effort the United States and our partners have taken over the past year.

The U.N. will continue to work with Syrian authorities and the Russian military police to "review the security situation", the chemical weapons watchdog group says.

Rubble fills a street in Douma, the site of a suspected chemical weapons attack, near Damascus, Syria.

France's foreign ministry also said in a statement that it was "very likely that proof and essential elements are disappearing from this site".

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On Tuesday, Syrian state news agency SANA said a "mass grave" had been found there, but did not specify what had been done with the bodies. "The reconnaissance team returned to Damascus".

The U.S. says available intelligence indicates that the Syrian regime used chemical weapons in Douma - probably chlorine gas and possibly sarin, as well.

"At present, we do not know when the FFM team can be deployed to Douma", the OPCW chief said.

Global chemical weapons inspectors do not appear to have visited the site of a suspected attack in Syria after days of delays by Syrian and Russian authorities.

Earlier this week, Ishak Majali, a former OPCW inspector, said it was unlikely the inspectors would find evidence at the site after such delay.

France, the United States and Britain have amended a draft resolution on Syria, seeking UN Security Council support for a political and humanitarian response to the conflict that has so far met resistance from Russian Federation.

In response to the attack, four Royal Air Force Tornado GR4s joined co-ordinated missile strikes, launching Storm Shadow missiles at a base 15 miles west of Homs.

"If the goal is to force a Syrian president, under a hail of bombs, to sit at the table of negotiations... this goal is simply unrealistic", Nebenzia told the Security Council.

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