Syrian media report chemical weapons experts entered Douma

Worldwide chemical weapons inspectors Tuesday entered Douma, the Syrian town that was the site of a suspected poison gas attack that led to Western airstrikes against the Syrian government, state media reported.

The inspectors landed in Syria on Saturday to investigate the alleged chemical attack on civilians in Douma, east of Damascus, on 7 April, but have yet to gain access to the site.

The Syrian government and Russian sympathizers have denied allegations that a chemical attack took place, with the latter even accusing Britain of staging the gas attack.

Russian and Syrian officials are reportedly blocking investigators from the scene of the chemical weapons attack in Douma, a watchdog group said Monday.

Zakharova also accused the United Kingdom government of being behind the "false reports" that the OPCW team had been barred from entering Douma so that Russian Federation and Syria could tamper with the evidence. Ahmed Abed al-Nafaa said helicopters were flying before the attack and when he reached the site, people were screaming "chlorine".

The U.S. and its global partners are concerned by the delays, arguing that Russian Federation and Syria may use the delays as an opportunity to destroy any evidence of the recent chemical weapons attack.

Faisal Mekdad, Syria's deputy foreign minister, said on Monday that his country is "fully ready" to cooperate with the fact-finding mission from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons that's in Syria to investigate the alleged chemical attack that triggered USA -led airstrikes.

After Syrian President Bashar al-Assad launched a chemical attack in 2013 that killed more than 1,300 people, Obama "considered launching an air campaign in an attempt to depose Assad", Business Insider reported in 2016.

The team from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons planned to take soil samples to find out whether poison gas was used.

The United Nations says its special envoy for Syria is undertaking intensive high-level consultations with senior officials in key countries on options for "a meaningful relaunch" of U.N. -facilitated political negotiations. Yarmouk, Syria's biggest camp for Palestinian refugees, has been under the control of Islamic State fighters for years. Nine rounds of peace talks at the United Nations have been unsuccessful.

Unlike the strike in April 2017, the USA and its allies did not target Assad's jets or airfields, though that attack was also apparently of low impact, as Assad's jets took off from the damaged airfield within 24 hours and reports of chemical warfare by his regime persisted.

Syrian state media reported hours earlier that the country confronted yet another assault, shooting down missiles over the central region of Homs and a suburb of Damascus before dawn.

Ms May said her government respected the convention under which MPs should have a say before troops are deployed overseas, but pointed to a statement from former defence secretary Michael Fallon in 2016 outlining an exception to the convention, when consulting MPs in advance could endanger an operation. Rebels in the adjoining Beit Sahm area had agreed to withdraw on buses, he said.

The assault on eastern Ghouta began in February and ended in government victory on Saturday when rebels withdrew from the town. Zuckerberg to meet European Union digital chief MORE "got ahead of the curve" when she announced additional sanctions on Russian Federation, top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Tuesday.

  • Joey Payne