08:51 GMT +320 June 2019
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    A man walks with his bicycle at a damaged site in the besieged town of Douma, Eastern Ghouta, in Damascus, Syria

    Damascus to Hold West Responsible If OPCW Mission Obstructed - Reports

    © REUTERS / Bassam Khabieh
    Middle East
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    Today experts from the OPCW fact-finding mission, aimed at establishing facts surrounding the alleged used of chemical weapons in Syria, have started their trip to Syria and are due to start work on Saturday.

    A source in the Syrian Foreign Ministry, as quoted by Reuters news agency, stated that Western states were trying to obstruct the mission's task and "meddle in its work."

    Following reports about the start of the mission, the Russian Foreign Ministry reiterated their support to the investigation, saying that the country's servicemen in Syria were ready to guarantee the security of Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) experts, who are currently heading to Syria to investigate an alleged chemical weapons incident in the Syrian city of Douma.

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

    The day before, the Russian Defense Ministry presented the results of their analysis, carried out on the site of the alleged attack immediately after unverified reports on the issue started to spread on  Syrian opposition media outlets on April 7. The Russian experts questioned local doctors, who said that they had not received individuals with symptoms of any chemical poisoning. This information has been confirmed by the Red Crescent international organization, which also found no trace of chemical weapons being used in Syria's Douma.

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

    The unsubstantiated reports about a chemical incident in the Syrian city of Douma in Eastern Ghouta began circulating in some Syrian opposition media outlets on April 7, which claimed that the government army had used chlorine in the area wresulting in the death of up to 70 people.

    In response, the US, as well as the EU, blamed forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad for the attack.

    Damascus, in its turn, refuted the allegations, stressing that it destroyed all of its chemical weapons, a claim confirmed by the OPCW itself.

    alleged chemical attack, mission, chemical weapons, Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Douma, Syria
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