OPCW experts to continue work in Syria
Experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) will continue their work in Syria, the organization reported on Saturday.
“The Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) team of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) will continue its deployment to the Syrian Arab Republic to establish facts around the allegations of chemical weapons use in Douma,” the OPCW noted. It stressed that the organization “has been working in close collaboration with the United Nations Department of Safety and Security to assess the situation and ensure the safety of the team.”
On April 10, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons decided to dispatch a team of its experts to investigate the alleged chemical weapons use in the Syrian city of Douma. They were to arrive there and begin working on Saturday. However, there were some doubts regarding the mission’s visit due to the strike on Syria carried out by the US, the UK and France.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the missile strike against Syria’s military and civilian infrastructures was carried out by US warplanes and naval ships in cooperation with the British and French air forces between 03:42 and 05:10 Moscow time on Saturday.
The ministry reported that a total of 100 cruise and air-to-surface missiles had been fired (while 59 missiles were fired at the Shayrat Airbase last year), most of them were shot down by Syria’s air defense units upon approaching their targets.
The United States, the UK and France said the strikes were a response to an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria’s Douma.
A number of non-governmental organizations, including the White Helmets, earlier alleged chemical weapons had been used in Douma, Eastern Ghouta, on April 7. The Russian Foreign Ministry dismissed these reports as fake news. Moreover, the Russian Defense Ministry pointed out that the White Helmets are notorious for spreading falsified information.
On April 9, officers from the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Opposing Parties in Syria visited Douma but found no trace of chemical weapons there.