Chemical weapons watchdog to send team to Syria's Douma

Chemical weapons watchdog to send team to Syria's Douma

Chemical weapons watchdog to send team to Syria's Douma

Russian Federation and Syria have called for the OPCW to send its experts to the rebel-held town of Douma, where toxic gas was allegedly used in an attack on Saturday that killed dozens.

Trump has vowed to respond "forcefully" to the alleged chemical attack in Douma, where rescuers and medics say more than 40 people died after the suspected poison gas attack in the last rebel-held pocket of the one-time opposition stronghold of Eastern Ghouta. Victims were foaming from the mouth and nose, some were twitching, others had abnormal pupils, and they emitted a powerful smell of chlorine, according to medical workers on the scene.

"This is about humanity, we're talking about humanity, and it can't be allowed to happen", he said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday said Moscow will propose a UN resolution to investigate alleged chemical weapons attacks in Syria, after Russia rejected a similar move from the United States.

Trump said that Monday that he would make a decision on a response in the next 48 hours.

In November, Russia blocked the renewal of the independent panel investigating chemical weapons in Syria, and British Ambassador Karen Pierce reminded the council that Tuesday's vote marked Russia's sixth veto related to chemical weapons in Syria. These included the deadly airstrike on the Tiyas air base - also known as the T-4 air base - in central Syria attributed to the Israeli military, and US President Donald Trump's threats following the attack on Douma.

President Bashar al-Assad's government and Russian Federation, his most powerful ally, said there was no evidence that a gas attack had taken place and the claim was bogus.

The U.S. delegation has been pushing for a response that slams Syria "in the strongest terms", U.S. diplomatic sources told the Associated Press.

"It reveals the capacity and the will to use weapons which are outlawed by worldwide law", he said.

"Russia is holding the Syrian people to political ransom by supporting a regime responsible for at least four heinous chemical attacks against its people".

Syria and Russian Federation earlier Tuesday said they invited the global organization to inspect Douma, the last rebel bastion in the eastern Ghouta region. The US wants a new panel to be set up that would investigate and apportion blame for chemical attacks in Syria, but Russian Federation is likely to veto the proposal.

"We are not in a position at this point to independently verify the allegations, but obviously any allegation of continued use of chemical weapons is extremely, extremely troubling". Economic sanctions? A military strike such as one launched on a Syrian air base after a previous chemical weapons attack?

Related news