OPCW experts visit site of alleged chemical attack in Syria

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The Hague, April 22 (IANS) Experts from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on Saturday visited one of the sites in Douma, Syria, where a chemical attack allegedly took place on April 7 to collect samples for analysis.

The OPCW said in a statement that it would evaluate the situation and consider future steps, including another possible visit to Douma.

The collected samples will be “transported to the OPCW Laboratory in Rijswijk and then dispatched for analysis to the OPCW’s designated labs,” Efe quoted the statement as saying.

Once samples and other information and materials collected by the team are analyzed, the OPCW will draft a report that will be submitted to the State Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention.

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The OPCW experts travelled to Damascus a week ago but were unable visit Douma due to security-related problems.

On April 7, a chemical weapons attack allegedly took place in the Syrian city of Douma, northeast of Damascus, killing dozens of people.

The US, France, the UK and other countries accused the Syrian government of carrying out the attacks, while Syria and its ally Russia deny that any chemical attack took place.

In retaliation for the alleged chemical attack, the US, France and the UK launched missile strikes against Syrian government facilities, where chemical weapons were supposedly being stored and manufactured.

–IANS

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