Arabic AR Chinese (Simplified) ZH-CN English EN French FR German DE Japanese JA Portuguese PT Russian RU Spanish ES Ukrainian UK

Syria chemical attack: Investigators allowed to visit site

Latest news

    Two man sit on the back of a horse-drawn cart moving along a street, with ruined buildings stretching behind themImage copyright Reuters
    Image caption Residents ride through the ruined streets of Douma on Sunday, a week after the attack

    Chemical weapons inspectors in Syria will be permitted to visit the site of an alleged chemical attack on Wednesday, Russia has said.

    The international team has been in the country since Saturday, but has not been allowed to visit Douma.

    The attack on 7 April prompted military strikes on Syrian government targets by the US, UK, and France a week later.

    Syria and its ally Russia deny any chemical attack took place – with Russia calling it a “staged thing”.

    Early on Tuesday, Syrian state media said the country’s air defences had responded to a missile attack over the western city of Homs.

    The missiles targeted Shayrat air base, it said – but did not say who fired the missiles.

    Another report, from the pro-Iranian Hezbollah militia, said that Syrian air defences had intercepted three missiles targeting Dumair military airport, north-east of the capital Damascus.

    A Pentagon spokesperson told Reuters: “There is no US military activity in that area at this time.”

    What is happening in Syria?

    Early on Saturday morning Syrian time, the US, UK, and France launched a coordinated missile strike on multiple targets in the country.

    The operation was in response to a chemical weapons attack the three nations say was carried out by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, which targeted civilians and killed dozens.

    Media playback is unsupported on your device

    Media captionMasa, survivor of suspected chemical attack: “Instead of breathing air, we breathed the smell of blood”

    Investigators from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) are in the capital, Damascus – but have been waiting to begin their inspection.

    When they arrive at the site on Wednesday, it will be 11 days since the attack. They are expected to gather soil and other samples to help identify the substances – if any – used in an attack.

    The US envoy to the OPCW, however, expressed concern that Russia had visited the site and “may have tampered with it” to impede the investigation.

    But in an interview for BBC’s Hardtalk, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said: “I can guarantee that Russia has not tampered with the site.”

    Media playback is unsupported on your device

    Media captionRussia’s foreign minister says the only evidence of a chemical attack came from the media

    He said the supposed evidence the US, UK, and France said they had was only “based on media reports and social media” and that such evidence was a “staged thing”.

    Mr Lavrov and other have also criticised the three countries for carrying out the strikes before the OPCW team could conduct their investigation.

    What is said to have happened in the Douma attack?

    When the alleged chemical attack took place on 7 April, Douma, in the Eastern Ghouta region, was a final rebel stronghold near the capital Damascus, having endured months of shelling.

    Now, it is under the control of the Syrian government and Russian military.

    Two bombs filled with chemicals were reportedly dropped several hours apart on the town.

    Syrian medical sources say bodies were found foaming at the mouth, and with discoloured skin and cornea burns.

    US sources said they had obtained blood and urine samples from victims which had tested positive for chlorine and a nerve agent.

    Catch up on the aftermath of the air strikes:

    How did the air strikes happen?

    Late on Friday night in Washington, President Donald Trump addressed the nation, revealing that he had authorised strikes in Syria with the UK and France.

    As his speech came to a close, the first reports of explosions in Damascus began to emerge.

    The US says 105 missiles were launched and it believes none were intercepted by Syrian defences. It says Syria’s chemical weapons programme has been set back years.

    Media playback is unsupported on your device

    Media captionWatch the key moments over 12 hours – in two minutes

    The Russians, however, say 71 missiles were shot down by Syrian systems – many of them older Soviet-era defences.

    One of the three sites hit was the Barzeh complex, which the US says was a centre for development, production and testing of chemical and biological weapons, although Syria denies this.

    The other two were suspected chemical weapons facilities at Him Shinshar near Homs.

    View the original article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-43792120

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-43792120

    In the same category are

    Fed Cup: How karaoke is bringing Great Britain team closer together The British Fed Cup players and staff take time off from Fed Cup preparations to attend an official event dinnerJapan v Great Britain - Fed Cup 2018 ...
    Leicester blast father tells of pain A man whose wife and two sons died in an explosion in a Leicester shop has been speaking about his pain following the tragedy.Jose Ragoobeer, who was ...
    News Daily: Commonwealth decision and Salisbury nerve agent warning Hello. Here's your morning briefing: Image copyright PA Commonwealth: Will Charles be the next leader?The Queen has given him her backing, but it isn...
    Chingford fire: Connington Court evacuated Image copyright @LAS_HART Image caption Dozens of firefighters were sent to help tackle the blaze A home for people with learning disabilities has...
    Ariana Grande unveils emotional new single, No Tears Left To Cry Image caption The singer released No Tears Left To Cry worldwide at 0500 GMT Ariana Grande has returned with her first new music since the terrori...
    Spy poisoning: Salisbury residents warned of toxic ‘hotspots’ Image caption More robust hoardings have begun to replace police cordons, including at The Mill pub Toxic "hotspots" of the nerve agent used to po...

    Leave a comment

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