14:08 GMT +322 November 2018
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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

    Moscow Outraged at West's 'Deliberate Distortion of Facts' on E Ghouta Incident

    © REUTERS / Bassam Khabieh
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    The US-led strike in Syria was conducted in the wake of unverified reports about an alleged chemical attack in Douma, despite the fact that the probe into the incident was only due to start. Moscow has repeatedly called on Western states to work with investigators from the chemical weapons watchdog to determine if gas had been indeed used.

    Russia urges Western states to refrain from hindering the investigation of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) into the April 7 alleged chemical attack in Syria's city of Douma, located in the area of Eastern Ghouta, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Saturday in a statement.

    "We are outraged by continuous distortions of facts and deliberate distortion of reality [on the Douma incident], that can be found in large quantities in statements by officials of a number of Western States," she added.

    According to the spokeswoman, the OPCW experts on Saturday morning headed to the site of the alleged chemical attack in Syria's Douma.

    READ MORE: Another Boy Says Got Food For Filming in Staged Douma Chemical Attack Footage

    She pointed out that the departure took place only 11 days after the OPCW technical secretariat received the request from Damascus.

    "Such delays in such a resonating case regardless of the motives are unacceptable, since the security of the OPCW personnel was guarantied not only by the Syrian side but by the command of the Russian military contingent as well," Zakharova said.

    The spokeswoman stressed that Moscow expected from the inspectors an impartial investigation and noted that the attempts by the OPCW to visit less places connected to chemical attack and question less eyewitnesses raise serious concerns.

    "It demonstrates the unwillingness to shed light on yet another made-up provocation with the use of toxins, which served as a reason for the missile strike of the three western countries, members of the UN Security Council," Zakharova concluded.

    On April 7, a number of opposition media outlets, citing sources among militants, accused Damascus of perpetrating a chemical attack in the city Douma, located in the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta. The Syrian government has refuted the allegations, saying that the incident in Douma was staged in order to influence public opinion and justify possible intervention.

    READ MORE: Bogus Claims to Real Bombs: Three Times Children Were Used to Fuel War in Syria

    Unverified media reports on an alleged chemical attack prompted the US and its allies to blame Damascus and carry out a punitive strike on a number of targets in Syria, including the facilities in Barzeh and Jamraya, on April 14. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, over 100 cruise missiles were launched by the United States, Britain and France, most of which were intercepted by Syria’s air defense systems. Moscow called on the OPCW to launch an investigation into the attack.

    The OPCW Fact-Finding Mission arrived in Damascus earlier this week, however, it has not yet entered Douma over security risks. According to the OPCW, the United Nations Department of Safety and Security has reached an agreement with the Syrian authorities to escort the team to a certain location and after that it would be accompanied by the Russian Military Police.

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    Tags:
    chemical weapons, Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Douma, Syria, Russia
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