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Chemical weapons watchdog to send inspectors to Syria

Chemical weapons watchdog to send inspectors to Syria

As NPR's Michele Kelemen reports, the US -drafted resolution would have demanded access to the scene of the reported attack in Douma, a rebel-held area in the Damascus suburbs, and "would also create a new investigative mechanism to look into chemical weapons attacks in Syria and determine who is responsible".

Shamanov denied on Tuesday that the Syrian government used chemical weapons and asserted that a USA strike in Syria would amount to a violation of the country's sovereignty.

As the showdown between Russia and the United States got underway, Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia accused the United States of "planting this resolution" as a "pretext" to justify action against Syria.

The decision to cancel the trip - which comes as Trump boils in anger over the Federal Bureau of Investigation raid of his personal attorney's office and hotel room, a move he derided as a "disgraceful situation" - was made on Monday evening, the person said.

It was not immediately clear whether the announcement by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons would delay or avert USA military action against Syria. In Tuesday's statement, the regime said it was ready to offer all assistance needed for the mission to fulfil its task.

The United States, France, and the UK have ramped up pressure on Syria's government by pledging strong reactions to the alleged gas attack on Douma, the last town still held by rebels in their former bastion of Eastern Ghouta.

United States officials told NBC that the Russian military has been jamming some U.S. military drones operating in the skies over Syria, affecting American military operations.

Trump said, "If it's Russian Federation, if it's Syria, if it's Iran, if it's all of them together, we'll figure it out".

The Britain-based war monitor, which relies on sources across Syria, said units were preparing themselves for rapid deployment.

And he warned that Britain would be helping al Qaida if it assists with a military campaign against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

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At least 60 people were killed and more than 1,000 injured in Saturday's suspected attack on Douma, then still occupied by rebel forces, according to a Syrian relief group.

The Russian embassy in The Hague said Tuesday it had passed along a proposal to the OPCW from Moscow "to immediately launch the investigation".

Russian Federation on Tuesday vetoed a U.S. -drafted U.N. Security Council resolution that would have created a new inquiry to ascertain blame for chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

Moscow said it was also planning to propose its own "transparent and honest" probe with the OPCW's involvement at the meeting. But the world has already learned some valuable lessons regarding the behavior of rogue actors when it comes their pursuit and use of banned weapons. "And here, the United Russia party conscientiously states that all political, diplomatic and military measures if necessary will be taken", Shamanov told a plenary meeting of the State Duma.

Trump ordered a missile strike on a Syrian air base in April 2016 in response to another deadly chemical weapons attack. The guided missile destroyer is armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles, the weapon of choice in a USA attack one year ago on an airfield in Syria following an alleged sarin gas attack on civilians.

Mr. Trump called the raid a "witch hunt", [VIDEO]a "disgraceful situation", [VIDEO] and an "attack on our country in a true sense".

Mrs May and Mr Trump had condemned Mr Assad's "vicious disregard for human life" and "agreed not to allow the use of chemical weapons to continue", the White House said.

FILE - A man walks with his bicycle through a debris-littered site in the besieged town of Douma, eastern Ghouta, near Damascus, Syria, March 30, 2018. Syria denies being behind any chemical attack.

Syria's conflict erupted with anti-Assad protests in 2011 but has since evolved into a complex war that has killed 350,000 people.


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