Chemical weapons investigation team arrives in Damascus - OPCW

14 on the twitter page of the Syrian government’s central military media shows an explosion on the outskirts of Damascus after Western strikes reportedly hit Syrian military bases and chemical research centres in and around the

The global team has been in the country since Saturday, but has not been allowed to visit Douma, the BBC reported.

The British delegation to the organization called for the inspectors to be given "unfettered access" to Douma, adding that "Russia and Syria must cooperate".

On Thursday, Russia's military said Douma had been brought under full control of the Syrian government under a Russia-mediated deal that secured the evacuation of the rebels and thousands of civilians after it was recaptured by Syrian forces.

The US launched military strikes on Friday night, alongside United Kingdom and French forces, aimed at reducing the Syrian regime's chemical weapons facilities.

Russia - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's main military backer - denied interfering with evidence at the site of the suspected chemical attack, asserting that it has consistently supported an investigation into the suspected gas attack.

Earlier the British, Russian and French ambassadors were all seen arriving at the headquarters of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

The targeted sites were largely empty but US President Donald Trump hailed a "perfectly executed" operation.

At least 40 people were killed in the Douma attack.

"Investigators will look for evidence that shows whether the incident site has been tampered with", Trapp said, adding that they will also have to find ways of authenticating evidence that it presented to by third parties.

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Kenneth Ward, the U.S. ambassador to the OPCW, raised these fears on Monday, drawing a denial from the Russian foreign minster, Sergei Lavrov, who told the BBC: "I can guarantee that Russia has not tampered with the site".

"It is long overdue that this council condemns the Syrian government for its reign of chemical terror and demands worldwide accountability for those responsible for these heinous acts", Ward was quoted as saying.

A fact-finding mission by the UN's chemical weapons watchdog has arrived in Damascus.

OPCW officials have carried out similar chemical checks in Syria.

Regime forces have now entered Douma and declared the entire Eastern Ghouta region around it fully retaken, ending a five-year siege and reclaiming an opposition bastion on the edge of the capital.

The agency, set up to ensure the destruction of chemical armaments, is due to assess the scene and take samples from alleged attack victims to determine the cause and potentially uncover the perpetrators.

But "strangers entered as we were in a state of chaos and spread a rumour among people there had been a chemical attack, and people became alarmed".

Russian ambassador Shulgin repeated the accusations telling reporters in The Hague that Douma residents had not been able to produce "a single body".

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