World Syrians and Russians stop inspectors from visiting site of suspected chemical attack

04:15  17 april  2018
04:15  17 april  2018 Source:   Tribune News Service

Syria chemical weapons visit postponed after gunfire: sources

  Syria chemical weapons visit postponed after gunfire: sources A visit by international chemical weapons inspectors to the location of a suspected poison gas attack in the Syrian town of Douma has been delayed after gunfire at the site during a visit by a U.N. security team on Tuesday, sources told Reuters. The U.N. security team entered Douma to assess the situation ahead of the planned visit by inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) international watchdog, said the sources, who had been briefed on the team's deployment.

DAMASCUS, Syria — A team of inspectors from the international chemical weapons watchdog was on its way to Syria on Thursday to begin an investigation A truce collapsed last week and the Syrian government pressed ahead with its military offensive. Then came the suspected chemical attack in

Syria 's civil war of Chemical Weapons is expected to head to Duma, the site of the suspected attack . Both the Russian military and the Syrian government said they would facilitate the mission and ensure the inspectors ' security.

a group of people standing in front of a mountain: Saeed Saeed, head of the Institute for the Development of Pharmaceutical and Chemical Industries, speaks to reporters in front of the research center, which was hit by the U.S.-led missile attacks in the Barzeh neighborhood, on Saturday, April 14, 2018. Saeed denied the facility was in possession of chemical weapons. © Monsef Memary/Xinhua/Zuma Press/ZUMAPRESS.COM/TNS Saeed Saeed, head of the Institute for the Development of Pharmaceutical and Chemical Industries, speaks to reporters in front of the research center, which was hit by the U.S.-led missile attacks in the Barzeh neighborhood, on Saturday, April 14, 2018. Saeed denied the facility was in possession of chemical weapons.

WASHINGTON - Inspectors from an international agency sent to collect air, water and ground samples from the site of a suspected poison gas attack in Syria this month were blocked Monday by Russian and Syrian forces for security reasons, the watchdog group's director said.

Russia, Syria trying to 'sanitize' chemical attack site - U.S. State Dept

  Russia, Syria trying to 'sanitize' chemical attack site - U.S. State Dept The United States has credible information that Russia and Syria are trying to "sanitize" the site of a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria while also attempting to delay access by inspectors from the Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons, a State Department spokeswoman said on Thursday. "We have credible information that indicates that Russian officials are working with the Syrian regime to deny and to delay these inspectors from gaining access to Douma ...

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) – A team of inspectors from the international chemical weapons watchdog was on its way to Syria on Thursday to begin an A truce collapsed last week and the Syrian government pressed ahead with its military offensive. Then came the suspected chemical attack in

A team of inspectors from the international chemical weapons watchdog was on its way to Syria on Thursday to begin an investigation into a suspected A truce collapsed last week and the Syrian government pressed ahead with its military offensive. Then came the suspected chemical attack in

The delay in obtaining independent confirmation of suspected chemical weapons use came as the White House postponed plans to add sanctions on Russia for what the Trump administration said was its support of Syrian President Bashar Assad's poison gas program.

Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, had said Sunday that new sanctions would be announced Monday, but the White House pulled back. "We are considering additional sanctions on Russia, and a decision will be made in the near future," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters.

She did not say if Haley had misspoken or if President Donald Trump had changed his mind to avoid worsening relations with Moscow. The Trump administration has taken an increasingly tough line on Russia even as the president has been reluctant to criticize President Vladimir Putin for his government's meddling in the 2016 U.S. election and other actions.

In Damascus, war-weary Syrians unfazed by threat of U.S. strike

  In Damascus, war-weary Syrians unfazed by threat of U.S. strike In a residential neighborhood of Damascus, people simply don't believe their government was behind the alleged chemical attackDAMASCUS, Syria -- President Trump may punish the Assad regime for an apparent chemical weapons attack that was carried out against civilians in Syria. While the threat of a U.S. military strike may be on minds there, it's not showing much.

DUELFER: Well, the inspectors will be under the protection of the Syrian government, so they depend upon the good will of the Syrian government to Well, let me ask you. Syria and Russia have said the rebels are lying about the chemical attack in order to provoke the United States into a confrontation.

>Map: Russian Federation. The US State Department says it is "confident" the Syrian Government was responsible for a suspected chemical weapons Inspectors will begin an investigation of the alleged chemical attack site in Douma. Lebanon's Hezbollah says there's no risk of a US- Russia war.

The confusion emerged as nine inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons waited in Damascus for permission to visit Duma, a suburb east of the Syrian capital that was attacked on April 7.

U.S. officials say Assad's forces killed more than 40 people, including children, with chlorine gas and possibly sarin, a banned nerve agent. But U.S. intelligence has been unable to collect ironclad evidence of which chemical agents were used.

U.S. and British officials have accused Russian units in Duma of trying to hide or tamper with evidence of the chemical attack, a claim Moscow denies.

Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said in New York that the OPCW team had all "necessary clearances" to collect samples in Duma.

But Ahmet Uzumcu, director general of the OPCW, which is based in The Hague, said in a report to member states that Syrian and Russian officials had contended "there were still pending security issues to be worked out before any deployment could take place."

Inspectors arrive at suspected Syrian chemical attack sites in Douma: Russia

  Inspectors arrive at suspected Syrian chemical attack sites in Douma: Russia Inspectors from the world's chemical arms watchdog arrived Saturday in the Syrian town of Douma, where an alleged chemical attack took place earlier this month, the Russian foreign ministry said. A team from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) have been in Syria for a week but had not travelled to the city because of security fears."According to the information we have, the special OPCW mission... arrived on the morning of April 21 in the city of Douma at the sites suspected of having toxic substances," the ministry said in a statement.

Russian military: Syrian government is now in full control of town near Damascus where suspected chemical weapons attack took place. DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — A team of inspectors from the international chemical weapons watchdog was on its way to Syria on Thursday to begin an

A team of inspectors from the international chemical weapons watchdog is due to begin an investigation into a suspected chemical weapons attack near the Syrian capital Damascus. It comes amid Western threats of retaliation and Russian warnings of the potential for “a dangerous

Uzumcu expressed hope the inspectors could visit Duma "as soon as possible."

U.S., French and British forces fired more than 100 missiles at three targets in Syria early Saturday in retaliation for the Duma attack. The three facilities developed, produced or stored chlorine or sarin, Pentagon officials said, and all appeared heavily damaged.

Syria has denied stockpiling or using chemical weapons, which are illegal under international law. Russia, which backs Assad, also has denied that a chemical attack occurred, and noted that it initially invited the weapons inspectors to Duma.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday repeated his government's assertions that no chemical attack took place and said photographs and videos that showed people choking to death and other symptoms of chemical poisoning were "staged."

Speaking to the BBC, Lavrov angrily condemned Washington's attempts to blame and punish Russia, saying relations between the two countries were worse than during the Cold War.

The latest evidence came with a joint warning Monday from the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and the British government. They said a new wave of Russian "cyberespionage and aggression" had targeted governments and private companies through digital attacks on cyber infrastructure like routers and firewalls.

A British government spokesman said the joint warning sent a "clear message to Russia: We know what you are doing and you will not succeed."

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Despite delay, experts say any evidence in suspected Syria chemical attack likely remains .
"It is unlikely that all traces of evidence could be removed but it could be tampered with," one expert said.Chemical weapons inspectors were able to reach a site and take samples from Syria's Douma on Saturday, two weeks after a suspected gas attack there followed by retaliatory strikes by the United States and others against alleged Syrian government chemical facilities.

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