France says proof of poison gas attack likely disappearing in Douma

France says proof of poison gas attack likely disappearing in Douma

Worldwide inspectors from the global chemical weapons watchdog entered the Syrian city of Douma on Tuesday, where a suspected chemical attack killed at least 40 people earlier this month, even as the US and France voiced fears that the site may have been tampered with.

She said: "Our understanding is that the team has not entered Douma".

The U.S. and its allies blame the regime of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad for the deadly chemical weapons attack. A odd smell lingered, nine days after the attack.

Harrowing video and photographs, said to have been taken in Douma, quickly surfaced after the incident.

The Pentagon said there was no USA military activity in that area "at this time". Several said a unusual smell started spreading and people screamed, "It's chlorine! In other words, using the pause after a strike like that to try to clean up the evidence before the investigation team gets in", Mattis said. Symptoms such as convulsions, in addition to the dozens of deaths and hundreds of injuries reported, suggest sarin, which is a much more efficient weapon, they said.

However, medical organizations and rescue workers say more than 40 people were killed when aircraft dropped barrel bombs filled with toxic chemicals on the town while it was still held by rebel forces.

Syria and its ally Russian Federation denied responsibility for the April 7 attack.

The US says it has its own intelligence to prove Syrian forces were behind the attack at Douma. In theory, the OPCW should be allowed to destroy Syria's entire chemical weapons stockpiles.

Russian Federation claimed its inspectors found no sign of chemicals in the town or evidence of locals having suffered, blaming humanitarian groups for staging the event to justify air strikes against the Syrian regime.

Security concerns were still keeping worldwide experts from inspecting the site of a suspected chemical attack in Syria on Thursday.

Russian military officials were at the site of the Douma attack days before the OPCW reached Damascus, leading to fears that the site might have been tampered with.

Philippe told lawmakers that France's "riposte" was "proportionate" and sent a strong, clear message to dissuade Syria's government from using chemical weapons.

The four nations confronted each other in tense emergency talks at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague as inspectors prepare for a hard and risky mission. "Failure to act to hold perpetrators to account will only risk further barbaric use of chemical weapons, in Syria and beyond".

"We can not go back to a world where the use of chemical weapons becomes normalised..."

Syria condemned the attack as a "flagrant violation of the global law", according to Syria's official SANA news agency.

A National Security Council memorandum sent overnight Friday said the new sanctions would be announced soon, but it did not specify a date.

Prior to the United States strike, full confirmation could not be made of whether Syria had used sarin in its attack.

Investigators from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons had arrived in Syria on Saturday, the day that the U.S., Britain and France launched a barrage of missiles targeting Syrian chemical weapons facilities.

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