Here's How The UN's Chemical Weapons Watchdog Works
- Author: Tracy Klein Apr 21, 2018,
Apr 21, 2018, 10:00
The State Department announced Thursday that it has "credible information" that Russian officials are working with the Syrian government to delay a US investigation into chemical attack sites in order to "sanitize" and "remove incriminating evidence".
Almost two weeks after the brutal killings, inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons have still been unable to access the site.
The U.S. envoy to the global watchdog said Russian Federation may have tampered with the site of the April 7 attack, which aid organizations say killed dozens of men, women and children.
She also said that "due to the volatility" of the situation on the ground, the United Nations doesn't want "to telegraph" when a security team will return to the town.
The latest controversy embroiling the Labour leadership follows the decision by the UK, France and the U.S. to launch strikes against the Assad regime for a suspected chemical weapons attack in Douma, Eastern Ghouta.
Lavrov pointed out that a similar situation took place following the alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria's Khan Shaykhun, when the United States and Great Britain cited classified information declining to clarify how they had acquired samples of the chemical substance allegedly used in the attack.
The U.S. -led worldwide coalition against the Islamic State group says its local allies in Syria have captured a Syrian-born German IS operative previously tied to a 9/11-linked jihadist cell.
Russia-U.S. relations have sunk to post-Cold War lows over the Ukrainian crisis, the war in Syria and the allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
On April 19, OPCW Director-General Ahmet Uzumcu said United Nations security experts had come under fire in the town when they arrived in an attempt to assess the situation.
Moscow had warned the USA before the strike that it could hit back if the US actions jeopardize Russian servicemen in Syria, and the allies had given Russia an advance warning to make sure no Russians were in the line of fire.
Their destination was Jarablus, a town under shared Turkish and Syrian opposition control near the Syria-Turkey border.
Journalists visiting Douma on a government-organized tour Monday did not report any security threats.
Syrian state media says government forces have started bombing an Islamic State-held zone in Damascus.
US President Donald Trump is sending contradictory messages, saying that he wants to withdraw US troops from Syria, but also promising to continue actions to stop the use of chemical weapons by the Bashar al-Assad regime. The statement appeared to be aimed at bolstering contentions that Syrian rebels have used chemical weapons.
Douma, in the eastern Goutha district, was one of the last bastions near Damascus of rebels fighting to topple Assad, and the alleged attack took place amid a ferocious government offensive.
There have been no reports of civilian casualties from the strikes carried out by the United States, United Kingdom and France, Dana W. White said in a news conference with Marine Corps Lt. Gen.