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Inspectors may visit Douma on Wednesday


CBS News came out with a headline reading: "Russia accused of blocking access to alleged chemical attack site" while the Sun wrote that "US accuses Russian Federation of tampering with Syrian poison gas site and [of] blocking inspectors" altogether.

The site visit came hours after reports of more worldwide air strikes on Syrian military installations.

Russian Federation and Syria had cited "pending security issues to be worked out" while inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons were denied access to the site of the alleged attack, said Ahmet Uzumcu, the director general of the OPCW. A odd smell lingered, nine days after the attack.

"It is highly likely that evidence and essential elements disappear from the site, which is completely controlled by the Russian and Syrian armies", the French foreign ministry said.

The OPCW experts are tasked with finding out whether chemical weapons were used in the April 7 strike.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said it was the "obligation of the Syrian government to provide all the conditions for (OPCW inspectors) to work without any restrictions". British Prime Minister Theresa May accused the two countries - whose forces now control the town east of Damascus - of trying to cover up evidence.

Until Saturday, Douma was the last rebel-held town near Damascus, and the target of a government offensive in February and March that killed hundreds and displaced tens of thousands.

The U.S. and France say they have evidence that poison gas was used in the April 7 attack in Douma, killing at least 40 people, and that Syrian President Bashar Assad's military was behind it.

Journalists were allowed access to Douma on Monday. The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to describe private discussions.

The Syrian government and Russian sympathizers have denied allegations that a chemical attack took place, with the latter even accusing Britain of staging the gas attack.




Ken Ward, US ambassador to the OPCW, claimed on Monday that the Russians had already visited the site and "may have tampered with it".

"For we can not allow the use of chemical weapons to become normalized - either within Syria, on the streets of the United Kingdom or elsewhere", May said.

But French President Emmanual Macron defended the military action in an impassioned and at times angry speech to the European parliament.

In that building, Doane met Nasr Hanan's, who told us his brother Hamzeh died in the attack.

"It was in our national interest and it is a decision that should be, I believe, supported by everybody who recognises that we need to re-establish the global norms in relation to the use and the prohibition of the use of chemical weapons". "Three countries have intervened, and let me be quite frank: this is for the honor of the worldwide community". Syria and its main allies Iran and Russian Federation blamed Israel for that attack.

National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow told reporters earlier Tuesday that Haley "got ahead of the curve" when she said Sunday that the USA would be slapping new sanctions on Russian Federation.

Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said the USA -aligned kingdom could deploy forces from a bloc of mostly Sunni Muslim nations that was established to fight terrorism. The Syrian military later said a false alarm set off air defense systems early Tuesday, retracting earlier reports of a pre-dawn "outside aggression" on its airfields in the central Homs region and a suburb of Damascus.

Her remarks came as she briefed lawmakers at the House of Commons about the weekend airstrikes held with the US and France, which targeted the Assad regime's chemical weapons facilities. It also reported a separate air strike on the Dumayr air base near Damascus.

The illegal air raids also sparked a wave of condemnations from a number of countries, including Iran, Russia and Iraq. Israel did not confirm or deny it.

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