'Red tape,' not Russian Federation, preventing OPCW inspectors entering Douma - Labour MP Thornberry

The suspected chemical attack in Douma was met with air strikes by the US France and the UK
The suspected chemical attack in Douma was met with air strikes by the US France and the UK
Author

21 April, 2018

Today's news comes as the Pentagon warned the Syrian government still had the capability to launch a fresh chemical attack.

US assessments following the US, British and French missile strikes on Syria show they had only a limited impact on President Bashar al-Assad's ability to carry out chemical weapons attacks, four USA officials told Reuters.

The attack on 7 April was the trigger for US, UK and French air strikes in Syria.

"To date, we have not received a reply, nor has the Administration provided a full legal justification for strikes under domestic and worldwide law to the Congress or the American people", the lawmakers wrote.

In response, the opposition's Syrian Civil Defense, whose first responders were operating in Douma on the night of the alleged attack, gave the chemical weapons watchdog the locations of victims' graves so it could salvage evidence, the group's chief, Raed Saleh, told the AP. The Syrian military would then resume control.

France, the USA and Britain bombed suspected Syrian chemical weapons sites last week, saying Syrian President Bashar Assad's government was behind the Douma attack, which killed at least 40 people. According to the Russian side, 113 interceptors were allegedly fired to shoot down 71 attacking missiles, thus, supposedly, utterly foiling the coalition attacks on the seven Syrian airbases-which, according to the Pentagon, were not actually under attack (Mil.ru, April 16). The Russian military will surely be glad to closely examine these so-called "smart" USA missiles.

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Tuesday, April 10th the United Nations Security Council held a meeting to vote and discuss a resolution on Syria, which was drafted by the United States. But we are also very much aware of how they have operated in the past.

They specifically chose targets that would "mitigate the risk of Russian forces being involved", and the Syrians obviously had time to get their people out of likely targets, too. This, in turn, has put Russian Federation into an even more favorable position to begin forming a grand anti-US coalition with China and Iran, and possibly some breakaway European dissident countries, these commentators argue (Vz.ru, April 19).

"The longer that those sites are not able to be investigated by the OPCW fact finding mission experts, the more that the evidence can certainly deteriorate and that's a great concern to us".

But Russia vetoed extending JIM in 2017.

That makes crippling a chlorine capability through military strikes far more hard than, say, more sophisticated chemical or biological warfare agents. The US is refusing to accept the new "polycentric" world order and is crazily using sanctions and armed actions in a failed attempt to prolong its domination, he stated.

"He returned to this topic a couple of times, so we let our American colleagues know that we do not want to impose, but we also do not want to be impolite, and that considering that President Trump made this proposal, we proceed from the position that he will make it concrete".


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