Wednesday, 16 January 2019
Latest news
Main » OPCW says experts will only deploy to Douma if given 'unhindered access'

OPCW says experts will only deploy to Douma if given 'unhindered access'

20 April 2018

On Tuesday, the Syrian government said the team had not been able to go for security reasons, although it had allowed a number of journalists to visit Douma. "The reconnaissance team returned to Damascus", according to a statement released by the OPCW.

A United Nations team is discussing security arrangements with Syrian and Russian authorities in Douma to allow experts to deploy soon to investigate an alleged chemical weapons attack, United Nations security officials said on Wednesday.

The inspectors arrived in Damascus on Saturday, when Britain, France and the United States launched military strikes against what they said were targets linked to Syria's chemical weapons program.

The ministry said the entry of the security team came upon the request of the OPCW investigators, without mentioning the security incident.

"The UNDSS (the UN security team) will continue to work with the Syrian National Authority, the local councils in Douma, and the Russian Military Police to review the security situation".

Reuters reported on Wednesday that US assessments following US, British and French joint missile strikes on Syria last weekend show they had only a limited impact on Assad's ability to carry out chemical weapons attacks.

The State Department announced Thursday that it has "credible information" that Russian officials are working with the Syrian government to delay a US investigation into chemical attack sites in order to "sanitize" and "remove incriminating evidence". "Both of them claimed just a few days ago that the area had been "fully liberated from terrorists", she said.

OPCW says experts will only deploy to Douma if given 'unhindered access'
OPCW says experts will only deploy to Douma if given 'unhindered access'

But the rest of Syria's air defense capability, which was provided by Russian Federation, engaged extensively and comprehensively failed, according to McKenzie.

Zakharova also referred to the alleged chemical weapons attack in the Damascus suburb town of Douma on April 7, which Western states blamed on the Damascus government.

United States ally France and its president Emmanuel Macron have announced their support for a joint response that carried weight to respond to these chemical weapons attacks, and the White House has also announced that UK Prime Minister Theresa May has also agreed that we must stop these attacks from occurring.

Asked about the assertion that the strikes had only a limited impact, a White House National Security Council spokesman said the goal of the military operation was to hold Syria's government accountable, degrade its capability and deter it from chemical attacks in the future - "all while minimizing civilian casualties".

The OPCW inspectors are supposed to look into an alleged chemical weapons attack earlier this month.

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.

The OPCW maintains an global inspectorate which regularly inspects all stockpile destruction efforts, now still ongoing in the United States, and undertakes 241 annual inspections of chemical industry.

OPCW says experts will only deploy to Douma if given 'unhindered access'