04:16 GMT +315 October 2019
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    People walk at an area hit by airstrikes in the rebel held besieged Douma neighbourhood of Damascus, Syria. (File)

    Syria to Defend Itself in Case if US, Its Allies Attack - UN Envoy

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    Tensions Mount as Douma Provocation Triggers Syria Strike Threat (107)

    Tensions around the situation in Syria are heating up, as Washington and its allies are threatening Damascus with a retaliation strike over an alleged chemical attack in the city of Douma blamed on the Syrian government.

    On US Threats

    Syrian ambassador to the UN Bashar Jaafari pledged that the country will respond if attacked by the US, UK and France.

    "These three countries — the United States, Britain and France — if they think they can attack us and attack our sovereignty, we will have no choice but to use Article 51 of the UN Charter, which gives us the right to defend ourselves. It's not a threat, it's a vow. We will not allow anyone to attack our sovereignty," the diplomat said at the UN Security Council meeting convened on Russia's request over Washington's threats to conduct a strike in Syria.

    Jaafari went on saying that the US forces deployed in the Mediterranean forces are aimed against the Syrian government and its allies, but "not terrorists".

    READ MORE: We Have Evidence of UK's Role in Staging Douma Provocation — Russian MoD

    The United States, Britain and France threatened Syria with punitive military actions after media, citing sources among militants, reported about an alleged chemical weapons usage by the government of Syria's president Bashar Assad. The reports were immediately refuted by Damascus, which destroyed all chemical stockpiles of the country, the fact confirmed by the the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

    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.

    On OPCW Probe

    Experts from the OPCW will begin work in Syria in a few hours, the envoy noted.

    "The Syrian government has invited the fact-finding mission from the OPCW to pay a visit to Syria and to visit the scene where the incident allegedly took place. We are ready to provide all necessary conditions for this group to work transparently," Jaafari added.

    According to the diplomat, the invitation for the OPCW experts shows that Damascus "believes in diplomatic skills and do not fear [investigation]."

    READ MORE: OPCW to Hold Special Session on Alleged Use of Chemical Weapons in Syria

    The day before, the OPCW said that experts from a fact-finding mission, aimed at establishing facts surrounding the alleged used of chemical weapons in Syria, were travelling to Syria and due to start work on Saturday.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry 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.

    Tensions Mount as Douma Provocation Triggers Syria Strike Threat (107)


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    chemical attack, attack, UN, Douma, Syria
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