02:11 GMT +325 April 2018
Listen Live
    A man stands on rubble of damaged buildings in the besieged town of Douma, Eastern Ghouta, in Damascus, Syria March 30, 2018

    First Group of OPCW Experts Heads for Syria to Probe Alleged Chemical Attack

    © REUTERS / Bassam Khabieh
    Middle East
    Get short URL
    1151

    Russian servicemen in Syria are ready to ensure security of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) experts, who are heading for Syria to investigate into the alleged chemical weapons incident in the city of Douma, according to the Russian Foreign ministry.

    Experts from a fact-finding mission, aimed at establishing facts surrounding the alleged used of chemical weapons in Syria, are travelling to Syria and due to start work on Saturday, according to the chemical weapons watchdog.

    "In response to media queries, the Spokesperson for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) confirms that the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) team is on its way to Syria and will start its work as of Saturday 14 April 2018," the organisation's statement reads.

    READ MORE: Threats to Use Force Against Syria Is Violation of UN Charter — Moscow

    Earlier in the day, the diplomatic source told Sputnik that the first group of experts from the OPCW had arrived in Lebanon's capital Beirut.

    According to the source, the arrival of the main part of specialists in the Lebanese capital is expected tomorrow. Afterwards, the expert group accompanied by representatives of the office of the UN Secretary-General's special envoy for the Syrian settlement will go to Damascus, the source noted.

    "The OPCW experts intend to conduct a complex of procedures for collecting facts about the alleged chemical incident on April 7 in the city of Douma. It is also possible that they will take soil samples for research in certified OPCW laboratories," the source added.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday welcomed the decision of the director general of the OPCW to send specialists to the Syrian city of Douma to probe claimes about a chemical attack that allegedly took place in Syria.

    READ MORE: Syrian Army Discovers White Helmets’ Filming Site in Eastern Ghouta

    The unverified reports about a chemical incident in the Syrian city of Douma in Eastern Ghouta appeared on April 7 in several Syrian opposition online media outlets, which claimed that the government army had used chlorine in the area which resulted in the death of up to 70 people. 

    Reacting to the reports, the US as well as the EU blamed forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad for being behind the attack. Damascus refuted the reports, stressing that it destroyed all chemical weapons, the fact confirmed by the OPCW itself.

    Representatives of the Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria 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. Red Crescent found no trace of chemical weapons usage in Syria's Douma as well.

    Related:

    French Ex-President Backs Military Response to Alleged Chemical Attack in Syria
    NATO Calls on Syria to Provide Observers' Access to Alleged Chemical Attack Site
    Macron Claims to Have Proof of Chemical Weapons Use by Syrian Government
    US Still Assessing Intel on Alleged Douma Chemical Attack - Mattis
    OPCW to Hold Special Session on Alleged Use of Chemical Weapons in Syria
    Tags:
    experts, mission, UN’s Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Douma, Syria
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik
    • Сomment