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OPCW experts to visit Syria's Douma on Wednesday: Russian official

Local | 2018-04-16 21:07:00
OPCW experts to visit Syria's Douma on Wednesday: Russian official
(Zaman Al Wasl)- Experts from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) will travel to the Syrian city of Douma Wednesday, Russian Defence Ministry official Igor Kirillov said at a news conference in The Hague Monday.

The United States have accused Russia of blocking international inspectors from reaching the site of a suspected poison gas attack in Douma and said Russians or Syrians may have tampered with evidence on the ground.

 Early today, Ahmet Uzumcu, the Director-General of OPCW said that regime and Russian officials are citing "pending security issues" in keeping its inspectors from reaching the site of an alleged gas attack.
   
He told an executive council of the OPCW that Syrian and the Russian officials who took part in meetings in Damascus told the team "that there were still pending security issues to be worked out before any deployment could take place."

He said Syrian authorities were offering 22 people to interview as witnesses instead.

Uzumcu said he hoped "all necessary arrangements will be made ... to allow the team to deploy to Douma as soon as possible."

Syrian opposition activists and first responders say a chemical attack by government forces in Douma on April 7 killed more than 78 people. The government has denied ever using chemical weapons and had welcomed the fact-finding mission.

 Russian military police have withdrawn from Douma, less than ten days of the Moscow-brokered evacuation deal, amid wide deployment for regime troops in the key town of Eastern Ghouta suburbs, local activists said Monday.

General Alexander Zourin, the Russian army officer who is responsible for Douma deal, pledged last week that the Russian military police would prevent any attempt by Assad troops to enter Douma. 

On contrary, the surprise withdrawal to favor of the regime army was a clear threat for residents who fear reprisal.

The Russian military announced on Thursday that the regime is now in full control of Douma after deporting more than 3500 rebels with their families. (With Reuters, AP)

Zaman Al Wasl
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