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newsmoments.net May 23, 2018


United Nations ambassador, White House quarrel over timing on sanctions

21 April 2018, 10:06 | Lorenzo Hawkins

US To Announce New Economic Sanctions On Russia

US to impose more sanctions on Russia

Both Syria, which denies any chemical use, and Russian Federation, which provides military support to the Syrian government, have reacted against the action.

The head of the International Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said Monday that Russian and Syrian authorities had prevented his team from reaching the scene of the attack in the Damascus suburb of Douma, due to what the two countries said were "security issues" caused by USA and allied missile strikes over the weekend.

The US-led military coalition which has been conducting airstrikes against what are said to be terrorists' targets inside the Arab country since September 2014 has no authorization from the Damascus government or a United Nations mandate.

The Associated Press, during a government-organized visit Monday to Douma, spoke to survivors and witnesses who described being hit by gas.

Witnesses and Western governments said helicopters dropped sarin and chlorine bombs that killed many children and women who were sheltering from the fighting between rebels and government troops.


The US, UK and France say that, based on open source information and their own intelligence, they are confident chlorine and possibly a nerve agent were used.

The statement came a day after Kenneth Ward, US Ambassador to the OPCW, accused Russian experts of having the "intent of thwarting the efforts of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission to conduct an effective investigation" in Douma.

The United States, Britain, and France say the Syrian government was behind the attack, and launched a wave of missiles targeting Syrian military installations on Saturday as punishment. It also reported a separate air strike on the Dumayr air base near Damascus.

The coalition attack also forced the Syrian authorities and the Russian military to change route plans and once again negotiate with some local groups in Douma to facilitate the safe access of the OPCW investigators to the site of the alleged chemical attack.

The Russian military said Tuesday in state media it had discovered a chemical laboratory and warehouse in Douma allegedly run by "militants".


"It was in our national interest and it is a decision that should be, I believe, supported by everybody who recognises that we need to re-establish the global norms in relation to the use and the prohibition of the use of chemical weapons".

British Prime Minister Theresa May accused Syrian and Russian officials of blocking access to the site of the attack in an attempt to cover up what happened. Israel did not confirm or deny mounting the raid. Britain denies the allegation. "We have not denied the team any request for it to go to Douma".

Several said a unusual smell started spreading and people screamed: "It's chlorine!"

Less than two days later, the Army of Islam rebels surrendered the town, which was the last stronghold in the once rebellious eastern Ghouta region at the doorstep of Damascus.

The accounts contradict what the Syrian government and Russian Federation have reported: that there was no gas attack in Douma.




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