Chemical weapons experts arrive at scene of Syria attack

OPCW has left for Syria's Douma to visit site of alleged chemical attack, Russia says

Chemical inspectors take samples in Syria's Douma

Nearly two weeks after a suspected chemical weapons attack killed nearly 40 people in Syria, a team of experts arrived Saturday at one of the sites of the alleged attack in the city of Douma.

In a press statement, the OPCW said its team had visited one of the two sites reportedly bombed in Douma on April 7.

In the early hours of April 14, the US, France and the United Kingdom conducted coordinated airstrikes on Syrian civil and military facilities in retaliation for the alleged use of chemical weapons by government forces in the Damascus suburb of Douma on April 7.

Nations have repeatedly accused President Bashar al-Assad of Syria of an April seven compound weapons assault.

"The O.P.C.W. will evaluate the situation and believe future steps containing another potential trip to Douma", the organization mentioned, including that its pros had taken "samples for analysis in connection with allegations of chemical weapons". After Douma's liberation, we detained people who staged this attack and they are now under state arrest.

Russian ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Saturday in a statement that the delays to the OPCW team were "unacceptable".

The Syrian government and its ally Russian Federation denied responsibility for the attack.

The US has warned any evidence of a chemical attack is likely to have degraded or been cleaned up the longer the OPCW specialists are kept back from the scene.

"You can actually do what we call it in the military business as the decontamination process, which is to remove all the evidence on the ground by using other chemicals to neutralise the chemicals on the ground".

Touching upon the alleged chemical attack in Douma and the Western airstrikes that followed it, Shiha described all this as a "real show".

"The way for a political solution is known: it is the resolution of the Security Council number 2254, with a communiqué in Geneva, and it is through the intra-Syrian talks between government and opposition to be able to overcome differences that exist".

Also on Saturday, Syrian government forces continued an offensive against rebel-held parts of the capital's outskirts, in a bid to drive out remaining armed opposition groups, according to state media and war monitors.

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