OPCW inspectors ‘not yet’ allowed in Syria’s Douma: UK delegation

Latest news

    Russia claims the alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria was ‘staged’ [Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters]

    Chemical weapons inspectors have not yet been allowed access to Syria’s Douma, UK officials said as the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) met to discuss the “alleged use of chemical weapons” in Syria. 

    “Russia and Syria have not yet allowed access to Douma,” the British delegation tweeted on Sunday, adding that “unfettered access [is] essential” and “Russia and Syria must cooperate”. 

    Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov immediately denied the allegations that inspectors were not being allowed access, according to Russian news agency RIA. 

    He said the arrival of the inspectors were delayed as a result of the US-led air raids on Saturday. 

    Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al-Mokdad confirmed that government officials had met OPCW inspectors, according to Syrian state news agency SANA. 

    “The experts have been in Syria for the past three days upon the request of the Syrian government and several meetings were held during which the cooperation between the two sides was discussed,” SANA quoted al-Mokdad as saying. 

    The OPCW, an intergovenmental organisation that oversees the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, met delegates in The Hague on Monday to discuss events surrounding the April 7 attack in Douma. 

    Syrian government forces retook Douma last week, gaining full control over the former rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta, Russian military officials announced at the time. 

    The announcement came just days after dozens people were killed by alleged chemical weapons attack in the town, sparking international outcry and prompting the US, UK and France to launch missile attacks on facilities believed to be used to research, develop and store chemical weapons inside Syria. 

    The Chemical Weapons Convention outlaws the production or stockpiling of chemical weapons.

    Syria is a signatory of the treaty. Egypt, Israel, North Korea and South Sudan are the only nonsignatory nations.

    ‘Barbaric use of chemical weapons’

    Peter Wilson, the UK’s OPCW envoy, told the watchdog body that failure to act in Syria will cause “further barbaric use of chemical weapons.

    Syria has lived through a seven-year civil war that has killed at least half a million people and created an international refugee crisis.

    “The Syrian Regime has an abhorrent record of using chemical weapons against its own people. Chemical weapons use has become an all too regular weapon of war in the Syrian conflict,” Wilson said, going on to cite 390 allegations of chemical weapons attacks since 2014.

    Russia has impeded international bodies from investigating these attacks, Wilson added.

    Russia told the UN last Friday that its experts found no trace of “toxic substance use” during their investigation in Douma.

    Vassily Nebenzia, Russia’s UN ambassador, said Russia has “clear evidence” that the chemical attack was staged.

    For its part, France has said it has evidence Russia was responsible.

    View the original article: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/04/opcw-inspectors-allowed-syria-douma-uk-delegation-180416093322500.html

    US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has said her country will announce new sanctions on the Russian government in response to its support for Syria’s Bashar al-Assad.

     

    In the same category are

    The Afghan government is failing to deliver on its promises Afghan President Ashraf Ghani speaks during a news conference in Kabul, Afghanistan on July 15, 2018. During this year's holy day of Ashoura, resid...
    Sweden’s prime minister Stefan Lofven loses no-confidence vote Sweden's centre-right opposition and the far-right have ousted Prime Minister Stefan Lofven in a vote of no-confidence, after September's election del...
    World Bank warns Gaza economy is ‘collapsing’ Public servants of the Palestinian Authority queue to receive their salaries outside a bank in Gaza City The economy in the Gaza Strip is "collapsi...
    Angola ex-president’s son remanded on corruption charge Angolan President Joao Lourenco came to power in 2017 and pledged to crack down on corruption The son of Angola's former president Jose Eduardo dos...
    UN: 1,700 Libyan families displaced by fighting in last 48 hours According to the UN, at least 115 civilians have been killed, with 560 wounded More than 1,700 families have been displaced by fighting in Libya's ...
    Pakistan court summons former PM and orders arrest of journalist Sharif was arrested in July this year on corruption charges Islamabad, Pakistan - A Pakistani court has summoned former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif...

    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.