Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Global | By Marsha Munoz

OPCW starts emergency talks on Douma attacks

OPCW starts emergency talks on Douma attacks

Several other passengers were also wounded by the attack on Saturday on the convoy that left the town of Douma under a Russia-brokered evacuation deal, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Moscow denied the charge and blamed delays on retaliatory US-led missile strikes on Syria at the weekend. The Russian military said they'd be allowed in Wednesday.

The global chemical arms watchdog held emergency talks Monday in The Hague on an alleged Syrian regime attack on Douma, where a team of its experts was beginning its field work.

At least 40 people are believed to have died on 7 April in Douma, which until Saturday was the last rebel-held town near the capital and the target of a government offensive in February and March that killed hundreds and displaced tens of thousands. I'm sure Russian Federation will be providing that irrefutable proof any day now, just as soon as they finish scrubbing the Douma site of any evidence and blocking inspectors from doing their jobs.

The targeted sites were largely empty and were all said to be facilities for chemical weapons storage or production.

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The US seems to be anticipating the OPCW probe not going their way, and is already accusing Syria and Russian Federation of plotting to tamper with the site.

The United States, Britain, and France launched air strikes against Syrian government facilities on April 14 in response.

British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron faced anger Monday from their lawmakers for conducting the air strikes with the United States.

The OPCW received the Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts to eliminate chemical weapons in 2013 as it pressed a campaign that resulted the following year in the destruction of Syria's declared stockpiles.

Its mission, which was requested by the Syrian government, is to determine whether chemical weapons were used but not who the perpetrator was.

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The trio of Western powers that carried out the strikes warned they would repeat the operation if Damascus used chemical weapons again.

For over a week now, Syrian government flags have flown over Douma, the biggest town in the agricultural Eastern Ghouta region near Damascus, since rebels there surrendered after five years of siege.

It included a visit to the main hospital to which the victims of the alleged chemical attack where taken.

Damascus and Moscow have vehemently denied that any chemical weapons were used in Douma and alleged instead that grim videos showing civilians foaming at the mouth after the attack was staged. "The information we have points to the use of both chlorine and sarin, both of which are chemical weapons", one official said.

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