Syria chemical assault: Investigators allowed to go to web site

Two man sit on the back of a horse-drawn cart moving along a street, with ruined buildings stretching behind themPicture copyright
Reuters

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Residents trip by the ruined streets of Douma on Sunday, every week after the assault

Chemical weapons inspectors in Syria can be permitted to go to the location of an alleged chemical assault on Wednesday, Russia has mentioned.

The worldwide workforce has been within the nation since Saturday, however has not been allowed to go to Douma.

The assault on 7 April prompted army strikes on Syrian authorities targets by the US, UK, and France every week later.

Syria and its ally Russia deny any chemical assault came about – with Russia calling it a “staged factor”.

Early on Tuesday, Syrian state media mentioned the nation’s air defences had responded to a missile assault over the western metropolis of Homs.

The missiles focused Shayrat air base, it mentioned – however didn’t say who fired the missiles.

One other report, from the pro-Iranian Hezbollah militia, mentioned that Syrian air defences had intercepted three missiles concentrating on Dumair army airport, north-east of the capital Damascus.

A Pentagon spokesperson informed Reuters: “There isn’t any US army exercise in that space at the moment.”

What is going on in Syria?

Early on Saturday morning Syrian time, the US, UK, and France launched a coordinated missile strike on a number of targets within the nation.

The operation was in response to a chemical weapons assault the three nations say was carried out by the federal government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, which focused civilians and killed dozens.

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Media captionMasa, survivor of suspected chemical assault: “As an alternative of respiratory air, we breathed the odor of blood”

Investigators from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) are within the capital, Damascus – however have been ready to start their inspection.

After they arrive on the web site on Wednesday, it is going to be 11 days for the reason that assault. They’re anticipated to assemble soil and different samples to assist establish the substances – if any – utilized in an assault.

The US envoy to the OPCW, nonetheless, expressed concern that Russia had visited the location and “might have tampered with it” to impede the investigation.

However in an interview for BBC’s Hardtalk, Russian International Minister Sergei Lavrov mentioned: “I can assure that Russia has not tampered with the location.”

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Media captionRussia’s overseas minister says the one proof of a chemical assault got here from the media

He mentioned the supposed proof the US, UK, and France mentioned they’d was solely “primarily based on media studies and social media” and that such proof was a “staged factor”.

Mr Lavrov and others have additionally criticised the three nations for finishing up the strikes earlier than the OPCW workforce may conduct their investigation.

  • What we all know concerning the ‘chemical assault’
  • Why is there a struggle in Syria?

What is claimed to have occurred within the Douma assault?

When the alleged chemical assault came about on 7 April, Douma, within the Jap Ghouta area, was a closing insurgent stronghold close to the capital Damascus, having endured months of shelling.

Now, it’s underneath the management of the Syrian authorities and Russian army.

Two bombs full of chemical compounds had been reportedly dropped a number of hours aside in town.

Syrian medical sources say our bodies had been discovered foaming on the mouth, and with discoloured pores and skin and cornea burns.

US sources mentioned they’d obtained blood and urine samples from victims which had examined optimistic for chlorine and a nerve agent.

Make amends for the aftermath of the air strikes:

How did the air strikes occur?

Late on Friday night time in Washington, President Donald Trump addressed the nation, revealing that he had authorised strikes in Syria with the UK and France.

As his speech got here to an in depth, the primary studies of explosions in Damascus started to emerge.

The US says 105 missiles had been launched and it believes none had been intercepted by Syrian defences. It says Syria’s chemical weapons programme has been set again years.

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Media captionWatch the important thing moments over 12 hours – in two minutes

The Russians, nonetheless, say 71 missiles had been shot down by Syrian programs – a lot of them older Soviet-era defences.

One of many three websites hit was the Barzeh complicated, which the US says was a centre for improvement, manufacturing and testing of chemical and organic weapons, though Syria denies this.

The opposite two had been suspected chemical weapons services at Him Shinshar close to Homs.

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