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18 April 2018, 12:54 | Tara Lloyd
Alex Wong Getty Images
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has indicated new economic sanctions will be announced Monday against Russian Federation for enabling Assad's government to continue using chemical weapons.
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons will be given access to an alleged chemical attack site in Syria on Wednesday, Russia says.
"Experts from the chemical weapons committee enter the town of Douma", state news agency SANA wrote.
But they have made none of that evidence public, even after they, along with Britain, carried out airstrikes on Saturday, bombing sites they said were linked to Syria's chemical weapons program.
The suspected gas attack on April 7 on Douma, near Damascus, reportedly left more than 40 people dead and was blamed by Western powers on the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The Prime Minister insisted it was morally and legally right to target three sites that stored or researched deadly chemical weapons.
Hours after the alleged chemical attack, the rebel faction that controlled the town, the Army of Islam, relented and was evacuated along with thousands of residents. According to the Syrian military, over 100 missiles were fired in this strick and the Syrian Foreign Ministry has condemned the attack, said it violated the global law and the UN Charter.
Quoting an unnamed military official, state TV said air defences fired a number of missiles due to a "false alarm", but gave no more information.
Big explosions were heard overnight near Shayrat air base, southeast of Homs city, and near Damascus where two other air bases are located, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said the military strikes violated the U.N. Charter and that if they continue, "it will inevitably entail chaos in worldwide relations", according to a Kremlin statement on Sunday.
The strikes have ratcheted up global tension, as the USA and Russian Federation exchanged threats of retaliation.
Gen. Igor Kirillov, head of Russia's Radiation Chemical and Biological protection troops, describing the inspection to journalists at The Hague on Monday.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Monday the inspectors could not go to the site because they needed approval from the UN Department for Safety and Security.
Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said in NY that the OPCW team had all "necessary clearances" to collect samples in Duma.
Nuseir, 25, said he ran from the shelter to a nearby clinic and fainted. Moscow said they didn't find any evidence of a chemical attack and rejected Western claims that Russian Federation was deliberately stalling the OPCW inspection to destroy all evidence of the attack. He said he tried to enter the shelter but was overcome by a strong smell of chlorine and his comrades pulled him out.
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The U.S. State Department had accused Russian Federation of trying to block the inspectors from investigating the deadly attack in Douma "by making it more complicated" for the specialists to do their work.
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