Published: Fri, April 20, 2018
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Russian Federation sees no need for United Nations inquiry into Syria toxic gas attacks

Russian Federation sees no need for United Nations inquiry into Syria toxic gas attacks

The U.S., France, and Britain launched missile strikes against suspected chemical weapons facilities one week later, after concluding that Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces were behind the attack.

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.

Saturday's air strikes were the first coordinated Western strikes against Assad's government in a seven-year war that has killed more than 500,000 people and drawn in global powers and neighboring states. Russian Federation claimed its inspectors found no sign of chemicals in the town or evidence of locals having suffered, blaming humanitarian groups for staging the event to justify air strikes against the Syrian regime.

Mann's remarks come amid questions about the Trump administration's strategy in Syria following an alleged chemical attack and the subsequent joint military response, in which the USA, United Kingdom and France targeted three sites.

A team of inspectors from the OPCW recently arrived in Damascus, the Syrian capital, to probe a suspected chemical weapons attack in the neighbouring town of Douma.

Earlier on Tuesday, Syrian state media falsely reported that members of the world's chemical weapons watchdog had entered Douma.

British Ambassador Peter Wilson said in The Hague that the United Nations had cleared the inspectors to go but they had been unable to reach Douma because Syria and Russian Federation had been unable to guarantee their safety.

Hours after the alleged chemical attack, the rebel faction that controlled the town, relented and was evacuated along with thousands of residents.

Previously, Russia and Syria cited "pending security issues to be worked out" as the reason inspectors were initially denied access to the Douma site.

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Mattis was referring to global investigating teams from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

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Syrian activists said more than 40 people were killed in the alleged attack.

"The Syrian government did all that it can do to facilitate the work of this mission".

U.S. President Donald Trump is still willing to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in spite of increasing tensions between the United States and Russia, White House Spokesperson, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said on Tuesday.

Four Royal Air Force Tornado GR4s joined the co-ordinated missile strikes at 2am on Saturday, launching Storm Shadow missiles at a base 15 miles west of Homs.

Syria and its ally Russian Federation had invited inspectors with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to visit the town, but then were accused of blocking them from accessing it for several days.

However, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the United Nations had provided all the necessary clearances for the team to visit Douma. Syria and its allies blamed Israel for that attack.

"On this night, there was wind and huge dust clouds began to come into the basements and cellars where people lived", said Assim Rahaibani.

"It is essential they (the inspectors) visit the site of the attack - all the evidence is there". Saudi Arabia is also a member of the USA -led coalition battling IS militants. The strikes were aimed at degrading Syria's chemical weapons capability and punishing the regime for repeated use of illegal weapons. It was formed after the Chemical Weapons Convention - an arms control treaty that bans the production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons - entered into force in 1997.

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