April 16, 2018
Russia and Syria have blocked chemical inspectors from investigating where a suspected chemical attack in Douma as tensions soar in the Middle East in the wake of the USA, UK and France launching airstrikes in retaliation.
Syria chemical attack: Russia and Syria BLOCK inspectors from Douma
Inspectors arrived in Syria on Saturday to determine if chemical weapons were used in the deadly attack that has left up to 70 people dead.
On Sunday the inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons with the met Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad in the presence of Russian officers and a senior Syrian official.
They were due to visit Douma today but say they have not been granted access.
The British ambassador Peter Wilson said Syria and Russia were unable to guarantee inspectors’ safety causing their trip to Douma to be delayed.
In a statement Britain said: “Unfettered access is essential. Russia and Syria must cooperate.”
Other reports from the US envoy to the OPCW are alleging that Russia may have even tampered with the site of the gas attack in Syria.
The Director General of the OPCW met Uzumcu told NBC: “It’s our concern they may have tampered with it to thwart the fact finding investigation.”
The Russian foreign minister says Russia did not tamper with the site of the chemical attack.
Sergei Lavrov said: “I can guarantee that Russia has not tampered with the site.”
The Russian delegation to the OPCW have said that these allegations were groundless and reinforced that Russia has always supported an investigation.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Petrov said: “We called for an objective investigation.
“This was at the very beginning after this information [of the attack] appeared. Therefore allegations of this towards Russia are groundless.”

These fresh tit-for-tat allegations come after Moscow condemned Britain, the United States and France for refusing to wait for an investigation from the OPCW inspection team by instead launching airstrikes.
The United States, Britain and France launched 105 missiles targeting what the US said were chemical weapon facilities in Syria as a direct retaliation for the gas attack on April 7.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson told reporters today in Luxembourg ahead of an EU meeting with foreign ministers that the air strikes are to tell Syria enough is enough.
He said: “I'm afraid the Syrian war will go on in its horrible, miserable way. But it was the world saying that we've had enough of the use of chemical weapons.”
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