PM accuses Russian Federation and Syria of trying to cover up chemical attack

Remigio Civitarese
Aprile 20, 2018

"They punish first in Douma in Syria and then they wait for the inspectors of OPCW to visit the place and to inspect".

OPCW inspectors arrived in Syria over the weekend to establish whether chemical weapons had been used in Douma.

The lack of access to the town of Douma by inspectors from the watchdog group, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), has left questions about the April 7 attack unanswered.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) held a special closed session on Monday to discuss the latest attack, its probe into the incident and the escalating global response.

The US and the United Kingdom both have both accused Russian Federation of impeding the inspectors.

Meanwhile, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said the sanctions would target those who were enabling Syrian leader Bashar Assad's government to continue using chemical weapons. "We were accompanied by the militants [who used to control Douma]", said Maj.

Russian Federation had previously said the investigators would be allowed to access the site of the attack on Wednesday and it was not immediately clear whether their work would begin on Tuesday or Wednesday.

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Syrian government officials guided reporters to a facility that treated people allegedly injured in the attack. "Unfettered access essential. Russia & Syria must cooperate". The incident drew the ire of Western governments, while Damascus and its backers in Moscow and Tehran said rebels had staged the attack.

The Trump administration plans to bring new economic sanctions against Russian Federation over its support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Sunday.

Regime forces have since entered Douma and declared the entire Eastern Ghouta region around it fully retaken, ending a five-year siege and reclaiming an opposition bastion on the edge of the capital.

Faisal Mekdad, Syria's deputy foreign minister, said on Monday that government officials have met with the delegation, which has been in Damascus for three days, a number of times to discuss cooperation. Experts say an inspection relies on the absence of interference.

In response, the United States, France and Britain conducted missile strikes on Syrian military installations, but Paris admitted on Tuesday they were a matter of "honour" that had solved nothing.

Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White noted, "We are confident that we have significantly degraded his ability to ever use chemical weapons again".

"I can not be impolite with the heads of other states, but you quoted the leaders of France and the United Kingdom and U.S. and, frankly speaking, all the evidence they quoted was based on media reports and social media", he said.

"At the end of the day, we are not expecting any retaliation because the U.S. and its allies already carried out retaliatory strikes", she said.

"Our American partners look to be nervous, in frenzied effort to find anything that could justify their steps in case their allegations about the use of chemical weapons in Syria prove to be false", Shulgin stressed.

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