18:35 GMT17 January 2021
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    Tensions Mount as Douma Provocation Triggers Syria Strike Threat (107)

    The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has requested the Syrian government to take necessary measures for the deployment of a fact-finding mission to the Syrian settlement of Douma to establish facts surrounding the alleged used of chemical weapons in the area.

    "Today, the OPCW Technical Secretariat has requested the Syrian Arab Republic to make the necessary arrangements for such a deployment. This has coincided with a request from the Syrian Arab Republic and the Russian Federation to investigate the allegations of chemical weapons use in Douma. The team is preparing to deploy to Syria shortly," the OPCW said in a statement posted on its website.

    The investigation follows media reports by several Syrian opposition online media outlets, citing militants, published on April 7 and claiming that the Syrian army had used chlorine in the town of Douma and killed up to 70 people.    

    Reacting to the reports, the European Union and the United States stated that forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad were behind the attack. Trump has blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin, Moscow and Tehran of backing Assad and vowed that Damascus would pay a "big price."

    READ MORE: US Refuses to Face Reality in Alleged Syria Chemical Attack - Kremlin

    The Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria has refuted the reports. The Center's representatives inspected the place of the alleged attack and questioned local doctors, who said that they had not received individuals with symptoms of any chemical poisoning.

    Tensions Mount as Douma Provocation Triggers Syria Strike Threat (107)
    experts, chemical weapons, probe, Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Douma, Syria
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