Published: Sat, April 21, 2018
World | By Camille Rivera

Syria To Allow Chemical Weapons Inspectors, After Barring Them Earlier This Week

Syria To Allow Chemical Weapons Inspectors, After Barring Them Earlier This Week

United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Wednesday that Staffan de Mistura embarked on the consultations following a meeting Monday with Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the sidelines of the Arab League summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia "and in view of current tensions".

The U.S. and France say they have evidence that Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces used poison gas in the attack, but they have not provided any evidence, even after Saturday's punitive missile strikes.

Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said the USA -aligned kingdom could deploy forces from a bloc of mostly Sunni Muslim nations that was established to fight terrorism.

"We can not allow the use of chemical weapons to become normalised, either within Syria, on the streets of the United Kingdom, or elsewhere", May said - linking the chemical attack in Syria with the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter last month with a military-grade nerve agent in the English city of Salisbury.

The team had to return to its base in Damascus after Tuesday's shooting attack.

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A poster of Fidel Castro and Cuba's President Raul Castro stands in Havana, Cuba, Wednesday, April 18, 2018. The relatively unknown Diaz-Canel previously served as a minister of higher education and vice-president.

"The idea of creating a mechanism on attributing responsibility for the use of chemical weapons no longer makes any sense when Washington and its allies have already determined who's guilty and in essence are already acting like self-appointed executioners", Nebenzia said.

Maj. -Gen. Yuri Yevtushenko said "a Syrian security employee received light wounds during the crossfire".

British Ambassador Peter Wilson said in The Hague that the United Nations had cleared the inspectors to go but they had been unable to reach Douma because Syria and Russian Federation had been unable to guarantee their safety.

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

She said the United States had information that both chlorine and sarin nerve gas were used in the attack and was concerned that evidence was deteriorating the longer inspectors were kept from reaching the site.

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The IDF estimated that 3,000 people were taking part, significantly smaller than the 10,000 at last Friday's demonstration. The latest deaths bring the number of Palestinians killed by Israel since the protests began in late March to 39.

The lack of access to Douma has left unanswered questions about the attack earlier this month. "Therefore allegations of this towards Russian Federation are groundless", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Instead, Syrian authorities offered them 22 people to interview as witnesses, he said, adding that he hoped "all necessary arrangements will be allow the team to deploy to Douma as soon as possible". The team arrived in the Syrian capital of Damascus on Saturday.

Less than two days later, the Army of Islam rebels surrendered the town, which was the last stronghold in the once rebellious eastern Ghouta region at the doorstep of Damascus. The footage, taken by Russian journalists inside the facility, also shows vast stockpiles of various chemicals, some of which were produced in Germany, as well as empty mortar shells that can be filled with poisonous substances.

According to the Pentagon, US intelligence had established that the base was the launchpad for the alleged chemical attack.

"It is our understanding the Russians may have visited the attack site", U.S. Ambassador Kenneth Ward said at an OPCW meeting on Monday, reports Reuters.

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The United Nations says a record 22.2 million people are in need of food aid, including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger. In retaliation, the Houthis have launched dozens of missiles at the kingdom.

Syria and Russian Federation deny unleashing poison gas on April 7 during their offensive on Douma, which ended with the recapture of the town that had been the last rebel stronghold near the capital, Damascus. Spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Tuesday the US did not believe the inspectors had entered Douma, and that the evidence is at risk of decaying as delays drag on.

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