Pentagon: Syria still has capability for chemical attacks

SANLIURFA TURKEY- OCTOBER 9 Turkish soldiers on a tank hold their positions on a hilltop in the outskirts of Suruc Turkey at the Turkey Syria border overlooking smoke rising from a strike in Kobani Syria during fighting between Syrian Kurds and

The Syrian state news agency SANA earlier reported that the worldwide experts from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) had entered Douma to begin their investigation of whether chemical agents were used as a weapon.

The experts from the OPCW chemical watchdog were awaiting the green light from the security team before beginning their on-site investigation in Douma of the alleged attack.

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.

This should allow the fact-finding mission to deploy to those locations "at the earliest possible time and based on lessons learned during the advance security visit".

In this Saturday, April 14, 2018 file photo, United Nations vehicles carrying the team of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), arrive at hotel hours after the U.S., France and Britain launched an attack on Syrian facilities for suspected chemical attack against civilians, in Damascus, Syria.

Airstrikes conducted by the United States, France and Britain against Syria last week failed to have a major impact on President Bashar al-Assad's chemical weapons capabilities, according to a new report.

Russian Federation denied the claims, saying parts of Douma still needed to be de-mined and said the watchdog's inspectors would enter on Wednesday.

Russian officials at OPCW headquarters in The Hague later said arrangements were being made for the inspectors to travel to the site on Wednesday.

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Inspectors reportedly reach alleged Syria chemical attack site
State television said on Tuesday that rebels in Dumayr had also agreed to withdraw. The Pentagon denied any American military activity in the area.

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Gunmen shot at the United Nations team in Douma on Tuesday and detonated an explosive, leading it to return to Damascus, said the head of the worldwide chemical weapons watchdog, Ahmet Uzumcu.

On the ground in Syria, rebels in Eastern Ghouta surrendered their heavy weapons and their leader left the enclave, signalling the end of one of the bloodiest assaults of the seven-year war and a major win for the Assad regime.

It also denies the "effectiveness" of the "new, attractive and intelligent" rockets launched by the coalition led by the Pentagon, the need to use 34 units for each of the three objectives destroyed, and the three wounded they caused to the enemy. "Russian Federation should press the Americans as much as she can - we should punch them in the fact, and it would be the right thing to do".

Russian Federation said today it would screen at the United Nations an interview with a child who it claims was made to pose as a victim of chemical weapons in Syria.

"At present, we do not know when the FFM team can be deployed to Douma", the OPCW chief said. Some of those journalists visited the site of the attack and interviewed residents who lost members of their families. The airstrike was a response to an alleged chemical weapons attack on civilians in a Damascus suburb.

In the nearby enclave of Eastern Qalamoun, which consists of several towns and an area of hills and has also been covered by an informal ceasefire, rebels said they were also negotiating a withdrawal deal with Russian Federation.

A military news service run by the government's Lebanese ally Hizbullah reported on Thursday that the army had moved into positions inside the enclave to entirely encircle one of its towns, al-Ruhayba.


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