'Gunfire' delays UN chemical mission in Syria's Douma
Iran Press TV
Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:49AM
A mission by experts with the UN chemical watchdog, who were supposed to enter the Syrian town of Douma to examine the circumstances surrounding an alleged chemical attack, has been once again delayed due to unexpected gunfire at the site near Damascus.
Upon the Damascus government's request, inspectors of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) were initially supposed to begin the mission late last week, around a week after the alleged attack was reported in Douma.
That mission was postponed as the United States, Britain, and France launched more than 100 missiles against Syria-based targets, accusing the country of deploying chemical arms in Douma.
The investigation was supposed to begin on Wednesday.
A UN security team, however, reported gunfire at the location a day earlier, sources briefed on the team's deployment told Reuters on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Syrian Ambassador to the world body, Bashar al-Jaafari told a meeting of the UN Security Council that the "Syrian government did all that it can do to facilitate the work of this mission."
Syria has denied ever conducting any such attack. The Arab country and Russia have suggested that the raid may have been a false flag aimed at justifying the Western military raids.
Back in 2014, the OPCW monitored a process during which Damascus handed over its stockpiles of chemical weapons.
Moscow warned soon after the Saturday missile strikes against their repercussions, saying the tripartite raids targeted the terrorism-riddled country's chance for a peaceful future.
She suggested that Moscow may consider supplying S-300 missile defense systems to the Arab state to defend itself against foreign aggression.
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