April 18, 2018
GUNMEN opened fire on unarmed UN chemical weapons inspectors in Syria probing the use of banned poison gas by leader Bashar Al Assad.
UN chemical weapons investigators SHOT AT in Syria – probe delayed AGAIN
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) claimed the UN’s security team was shot at in Douma, Syria, while attempting to investigate chemical weapon use.
International chemical weapons inspectors had hoped to carry out an investigation at the location of the suspected chemical gas attack in Douma, before gunshots left them fleeing from the scene on Tuesday.
OPCW inspectors were given specific reference to find out what happened at an April 7 incident, which saw Western countries and rescue workers suggest that hundreds of civilians - including children - were gassed to death by Assad’s regime.
The Syrian dictator denies any involvement in suspected chemical gas attacks - and reacted angrily to a set of targeted airstrikes on his nation by Britain, America and France in response.
It is thought that gunshots at UN security are designed to buy time for Russia and Syria to stall the investigations.
Moscow and Damascus are believed to have a shared interest in muddying the waters over the chemical weapons attack - as Vladimir Putin is likely to have known in advance of Mr Assad's plans.
There also remains the possibility that Russian and Syrian operatives are destroying evidence in the region.
Syria's ambassador to the UN said on Tuesday that the investigation would begin on Wednesday if the region appeared safe - and evidence of gunfire appears to have pushed back the timetable to which investigators will work.
UN chemical weapons investigators SHOT AT in Syria – probe delayed AGAIN
The Western airstrikes took place on April 14, although British involvement has been heavily criticised by Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party over recent days.
Theresa Mayh has maintained that it is vital for Britain to partake in international affairs, suggesting the strikes were "in our national interest."
Donald Trump was also pleased with the strikes last week.
He said: "Mission Accomplished!"
UN chemical weapons investigators SHOT AT in Syria – probe delayed AGAIN
The French Foreign Ministry explained why it was important to send in investigators to gather information about the attacs as soon as possible.
A spokesman said: "It is highly likely that evidence and essential elements disappear from the site, which is completely controlled by the Russian and Syrian armies."
Olivier Lepick, a fellow at the Paris-based Foundation for Scientific Research, added: "If the Russians and Syrians have nothing to hide, it's strange that they would wait 36 to 72 hours.
UN chemical weapons investigators SHOT AT in Syria – probe delayed AGAIN
"It's probably to give themselves the time to finish cleaning up."
Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called the Western allies' position "very surprising."
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