Syria ready to cooperate in chemical weapons attack probe

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Damascus, April 16 (IANS) Syria is ready to cooperate in a probe into an alleged chemical weapons attack that took place last week, Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said on Monday.

Mekdad said that investigators of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) arrived in Damascus three days ago and held meetings with Syrian government officials, reports Xinhua news agency.

The minister said the government urged the investigators to carry out their work with transparency, impartiality and accuracy.

He also stressed the government’s willingness to cooperate and facilitate the work of the OPCW team, which arrived to look into the allegations of chemical weapons use by the Syrian army on April 7 in the formerly rebel-held Douma district, east of Damascus.

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The Syrian government has denied the accusations, accusing the rebels of staging and fabricating the attack to frame the Syrian army and attract a foreign military campaign.

On Friday night, the US, France and the UK launched coordinated strikes on Syrian military positions in retaliation for the Douma attack.

–IANS

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