Global chemical weapons watchdog sending team to probe alleged Syria gas attack

Apr 11, 2018, 05:58
Global chemical weapons watchdog sending team to probe alleged Syria gas attack

At the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday, Russia, as expected, vetoed a U.S. proposal for a new panel to investigate and apportion blame for chemical attacks in Syria.

Later in the day, a UN diplomatic source told Sputnik that there will be two documents for the vote - rival resolutions on the establishment of new United Nations Independent Mechanism of Investigation (UNIMI), another one set for the vote by Russian Federation. The move followed Russia's rejection of a U.S. draft resolution at the United Nations on Tuesday. He denied any attack occurred, telling the Security Council that experts from Russia's military radiological, biological and chemical unit went to the site and found no chemical substances on the ground, no dead, and no poisoned people in hospitals.

Trump said the U.S.is still investigating the possible involvement of the Iranian and Russian governments. Now, if we see a military response aimed at brushing Russian Federation back in Syria, it will be framed not as proof that Trump isn't Russia's puppet after all, but merely as a cynical attempt to distract the nation.

President Donald Trump has promised a "forceful" response to an alleged weekend chemical attack on Syrian civilians in a rebel-held neighborhood outside the capital Damascus.

Since 2012, Israel has struck inside Syria more than 100 times, mostly targeting suspected weapons convoys destined for the Lebanese militant group Hizbollah, which has been fighting alongside Syrian government forces.

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One person was slightly injured, but the attack left the organisation, mainly made up of scientists and technical experts, badly shaken.

Mr Mattis also cancelled weekend travel plans to Nevada and San Francisco, in an indication that military planning could be underway and that the Syria response is being prioritised by the administration.

Mr Schneider noted that "Russia and the Assad government are certainly working overtime to stave off the assault as Moscow amps up its military posturing and bluster in Syria".

This reflects a view in the White House that deeper Russian and Iranian involvement in Syria have complicated calculations about a response to any USA military attack.

The OPCW's fact-finding mission for Syria was established in 2014 to confirm chemical weapons use, but it does not have the mandate to establish who is responsible.

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The Syrian government and Russian Federation said there was no evidence that a gas attack had taken place and the claim was bogus.

A man is washed following alleged chemical weapons attack, in what is said to be Douma, Syria in this still image from video obtained by Reuters on April 8, 2018.

That attack prompted the USA to launch several dozen Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian air base.

Also, Syria and Russian Federation say two Israeli military airplanes carried out an attack Monday morning on an air base in central Syria.

Thousands of opposition fighters, along with tens of thousands of civilians, are still in Douma. TASS news agency quoted him as saying he believed common sense would prevail.

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I don't think that's going to prevent the USA and perhaps a few other nations from launching a joint attack meant to send a message.

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