Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

British ambassador to OPCW: inspectors ready for Douma but need Russian protection


US President Donald Trump has announced the military action in Syria in response to the alleged chemical weapons attack Douma in the Damascus suburb.

Russian Federation has "strongly condemned" the Western missile strikes against Syria, slamming them as "a gross violation of the fundamental principles of worldwide law, [and] an unjustified infringement of the sovereignty of the country".

Syria agreed to give up its chemical weapons arsenal in 2013 and submit to OPCW inspections. "And on Wednesday is when we plan the arrival of the OPCW experts", he told a press conference in the Russian embassy in The Hague, explaining the roads were still being cleared of mines.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said on Thursday it would not disclose details of its experts' work in Syria for security reasons, TASS reports.

"That possibility always has to be taken into account, and investigators will look for evidence that shows whether the incident site has been tampered with", said Ralf Trapp, a consultant and member of a previous OPCW mission to Syria.

Earlier, various official Russian agencies repeatedly warned that preparations had been underway in different parts of Syria for provocations and simulations of chemical attacks that would be blamed on government forces.

Russia's foreign minister told the BBC that "Russia has not tampered with the site".

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They'll investigate the suspected chemical attack, cited as justification for those strikes.

Medical aid groups and the White Helmets rescue organisation have said such statements - already aired on state television in recent days - were made under duress.

The OPCW monitored the process and declared the Syrian government no longer possessed chemical weapons in 2014, before contradicting that assertion when it confirmed sarin gas was used in the northern Syrian city of Khan Sheikhoun last April.

The allies could not wait "to alleviate further humanitarian suffering caused by chemical weapons attacks", according to excerpts of her speech. "There is broad-based global support for the action we have taken", May said.

The then U.S. president Barack Obama threatened to retaliate with military action against the Syrian government before Russian Federation stepped in to broker a deal under which Mr Al Assad promised to destroy his chemical weapon stockpiles.

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the main opposition Labour Party, has questioned the legal basis for Britain's involvement.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on Monday will respond to their criticism in a debate in parliament on Monday afternoon.

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