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  • A child in Douma, outside Damascus, Syria.

    A child in Douma, outside Damascus, Syria. | Photo: Reuters

Published 25 April 2018

An alleged attack using illegal chemical weapons was used to justify airstrikes on the Syrian capital by the United States, France and Britain.
 

Inspectors with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) are investigating a second site in Syria's Douma to determine whether chemical weapons were used.

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Samples taken from two different sites will be returned to the OPCW's laboratory in the Netherlands and analyzed to determine whether or not banned toxic weapons were used. The organization cannot determine which party was responsible for chemical use, and can only say whether they were or were not used.

An alleged attack using illegal chemical weapons was used to justify airstrikes on the Syrian capital by the United States, France and Britain. The Western countries blamed the Syrian government for the attacks, and went forward with airstrikes in spite of a lack of publicly presented evidence. Syria and Russia have said that it was rebel forces who staged the attacks.

When the OPCW's fact-finding mission arrived in Damascus on April 14, it was delayed during its first entry to Douma by attacks.

The Russian delegation to the OPCW will hold a briefing on Thursday in The Hague at which it will present “some Syrians to speak about the reported Douma incident”, the agency’s statement said.

“The fact-finding mission will continue to carry out its independent and impartial mission based on interviews with relevant people, its findings from the site visits, analysis of the sample results, as well as any other information and materials collected,” it said.


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