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Russia and Syria deny access to the chemical attack area to UN inspectors

Moscow and Damascus allege that there are still pending security issues for the OPCW experts, who have been in the Syrian capital since Saturday, to be able to access Duma

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Russia and Syria deny access to the chemical attack area to UN inspectors

The inspectors sent to Syria by Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), to take samples of alleged chemical attack perpetrated last April 7 in city of Duma, are still in capital, Damascus, to which y arrived on Saturday. The entire team is made up of nine experts ready to work, but "members of Syrian and Russian delegations who have participated in preparations for Mission, in Damascus itself, point out that re are security issues still to be resolved before Proceed to its deployment. " This is official communiqué made public on Monday by Ahmet Uzumcu, Director general of OPCW, who is meeting urgently at its official headquarters in The Hague.

Before UZUMCU explained situation of its inspectors in Syria, and urged all Member States of OPCW, "to share information on aforementioned [chemical] incident." Sergey Lavrov, Russian foreign minister, denied any interference from his country in investigations. "I can guarantee that Russia has not altered evidence that may be on site of alleged incident." Lavrov made se statements to BBC's HARDtalk program, after Peter Wilson, a British delegate to OPCW, accused Damascus and Moscow of hindering work of Inspectors. "You need to be attn immediately," added Wilson, once inside organization. He has also described as "ridiculous" Russian suggestion that " United Kingdom has contributed to staging a false chemical attack." Duma is located about 10 kilometres from Damascus, and is located in eastern Guta region. The Syrian government announced on Sunday that it already controlled entire area.

The alleged chemical attack to be investigated took place last Saturday 7 April, and left dozens of dead and wounded, mostly children. Shortly after rebels left area, Russia deployed to its military police, and n re was talk of a possible manipulation of evidence. It was said by delegation of United States to OPCW, and it provoked immediate rejection of its Russian counterparts. UZUMCU emphasizes in his statement that it counts "with all support of Secretary General of United Nations", António Guterres. The OPCW has also called on World Health Organization to "share information about victims it has collected thanks to its partners on ground", in Syria.


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