Russia: UN permit holding up chemical weapons probe in Syria

AFP  Getty Images
AFP Getty Images

18 April, 2018

"This strike was conducted without any supporting evidence concerning the use of chemical weapons by the official forces in Douma, or even before the arrival of investigative specialists. Failure to act to hold perpetrators to account will only risk further barbaric use of chemical weapons, in Syria and beyond".

The Russian military, meanwhile, claims to have struck down a majority of the missiles.

The United States accused Russia on Monday of blocking worldwide inspectors from reaching the site of a suspected poison gas attack in Syria and said Russians or Syrians may have tampered with evidence on the ground.

When asked if there was a more effective way to discourage Assad from using such weapons again, Schake replied, "Yes, you could take Bashar al-Assad out of power".

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons would be instructed to report within 30 days whether President Bashar al Assad's government has fully disclosed its chemical weapons stockpile. In a private meeting with Trump and national security officials earlier in the week, Haley was a leading voice pushing for a robust military response to the chemical weapons attack on humanitarian grounds, the person said.

Founded in 1997, the OPCW based in The Hague oversees the application of The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) aimed at ridding the world of toxic arms.

The OPCW has recorded more than 390 allegations of chemical weapons use in Syria since its investigation began in 2014, Wilson said. What Syrians need is not more bombs and missiles, but an end to the war, which has killed at least 400,000 people in seven years.

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"From the point of view of al-Assad, Iran and Russian Federation, the real action of this war is happening on the ground and on the ground al-Assad is winning", said Landis. The group has shared with Freeland a report on international-law violations against children in the Syrian conflict.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned this weekend that the US-led attack on Syria was a "crime", as the country's foreign ministry warned of unspecified consequences.

Former CIA director John Brennan, appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press", said he believed the Trump administration's decision to strike Syria "was exactly right".

Analysts have said however that it would take more for the West to mount a meaningful challenge to Russia's weight as a broker. Their arrival coincided with a Syrian military announcement that it had "purified" the region of eastern Ghouta, of which Douma is a part, after a two-month campaign that has killed almost 2,000 civilians, following years of siege. "If al-Assad and his allies can weaken the SDF, they can crack the foundation of the USA military's planning for Syria".

Members of Congress share varying messages after Syria airstrikes. On Monday, suspected Israeli warplanes targeted Syria's T-4 air base, drawing a rebuke from Russian Federation and vows of retaliation from Iran.

In April 2017, in response to images of another chemical weapons attack in the Syria, President Trump ordered a missile strike on an airbase that resumed functioning just one day after the attack, and does not seem to have deterred other chemical attacks from taking place. Such a move would restrict Israel's freedom to maneuver across Syria's skies.

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