STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Inspectors visit site of suspected chemical attack in Syria after delays

Chemical weapons experts finally collected samples in the besieged Syrian city of Douma on Saturday, the Organisation...

Posted: Apr 22, 2018 10:57 AM
Updated: Apr 22, 2018 10:57 AM

Chemical weapons experts finally collected samples in the besieged Syrian city of Douma on Saturday, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said, after waiting for days to access the site of a suspected gas attack.

A fact-finding team visited one site in Douma and collected samples, the group said, to help determine whether banned substances were used there in an April 7 strike.

"The OPCW will evaluate the situation and consider future steps including another possible visit to Douma," the organization said.

The team faced several obstacles in getting to Douma, raising concerns that any chemicals that may have been used could disintegrate by the time experts get there, or that evidence could be manipulated.

UK officials say about 75 people were killed April 7 in an attack on the rebel stronghold. US officials have said they believe chlorine and sarin gas were dropped there.

Both Syria and its most powerful ally, Russia, deny a chemical attack took place.

The United States, the United Kingdom and France have blamed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime for the assault and together carried out airstrikes last weekend in response.

Russia has claimed the April 7 attack was "faked," or even "staged" with the help of British intelligence agencies. Britain denies the allegation.

Long delay

The OPCW chemical experts arrived last week in Syria's capital, Damascus, but were unable to access a site in Douma until Saturday.

The UK's envoy to the chemical weapons watchdog said Monday that Syria and Russia had blocked access to the experts, which both countries denied.

The US envoy to the OPCW, Kenneth Ward, said Monday he was concerned Russia may have "tampered with" the site of the Douma attack. On the same day, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the BBC's "HARDtalk" that he guaranteed there had been no Russian tampering, adding his country had sent experts to the site and found "no trace" of chemical weapons.

Article Comments

Mason City
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 50°
Albert Lea
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 52°
Austin
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 54°
Charles City
Overcast
52° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 52°
Rochester
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 52°
Tracking cooler temps and plenty of sun to finish the work week
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

${article.thumbnail.title}

StormTeam 3: Long range forecast - cooler days to end August

Image

CTK: Triton Cobras

Image

CTK: Byron Bears

Image

CTK: Kasson-Mantorville

Image

Mac Horvath transfers to IMG

Image

Salary debate

Image

To sell or not to sell?

Image

Puppy shower for Hulk

Image

Protest cancelled

Image

Renaissance for Southbridge Mall

Community Events