Published: Fri, April 20, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

United Nations is negotiating with Syrian regime, Russians after Douma probe halted

United Nations is negotiating with Syrian regime, Russians after Douma probe halted

It comes after a United Nations security team were fired upon near the site on Tuesday. "They were not injured and returned to Damascus".

Three Western countries have called on Indonesia to support efforts to pressure the Syrian regime under Bashar al-Assad over its continued use of chemical weapons, barely a week after they fired missiles into Syria in what they claimed to be a justified strike.

The inspectors arrived in Damascus on Saturday, when Britain, France and the United States launched military strikes against what they said were targets linked to Syria's chemical weapons program.

Russia's military says a Syrian security employee was wounded in an attack on a United Nations team as it was on a security mission to the site of a suspected chemical weapons attack just outside Damascus.

"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".

Syria and Russian Federation have denied any chemical attack took place at Douma, and Moscow has accused rebels of feigning the attack with the assistance of British intelligence - a claim Britain has rejected.

The rebel group based in Douma announced its surrender hours after the suspected chemical attack, and the last rebels left a week later, hours after the Western retaliation strikes.

Kahled Mahmoud Nuseir, 25, who lost his pregnant wife and two daughters to the alleged chemical weapons attack on April 7th, speaks during an interview with the Associated Press in front of a hospital that locals refer as Point One. "These missiles were handed over to Russian officer the day before yesterday (April 17)", a source in the Syrian Defense Ministry told Russia's TASS news agency on Thursday.

America says it had "credible information" the two allies were attempting to cover-up the attack in Douma, which killed at least 70 people including children.

Moscow denies this and blamed delays on the retaliatory US -led missile strikes on Syria at the weekend.

As far as when the FFM team can actually be deployed to Douma, remains unknown.

Spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Tuesday the usa did not believe the inspectors had entered Douma, and that the evidence is at risk of decaying as delays drag on.

He was referring to the rebel fighters who controlled Douma until the Syrian army took it back about a week ago.

If confirmed, it would not be the first chemical weapons attack in Syria's more than 7-year-old civil war.

The US, British and French governments have insisted they had intelligence and other evidence proving that chlorine and sarin were used in the alleged April 7 attack in Douma, but have declined to disclose it, claiming it was either classified or could endanger "organizations on the ground".

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