Weapons inspectors 'barred entry to Douma'

Syria US

The team will work with the United Nations Department of Safety and Security ensure the safety of the team, it said.

Uzumcu told emergency talks of the organization in The Hague that Russian and Syrian officials have informed the OPCW team that there were "still pending security issues to be worked out before any deployment could take place".

Russian Federation says a visit by inspectors from the United Nations chemical watchdog to the site of an alleged gas attack in Syria's Douma has been delayed due to recent Western airstrikes on the Arab country.

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.

Despite a U.S. -Russian agreement to completely eliminate Syria's chemical weapons program after hundreds of people were gassed with sarin in Ghouta on August 21, 2013, the OPCW had been unable to verify that all manufacturing, storage and research facilities were destroyed.

"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.

It said no deaths from mechanical injuries were visible and all symptoms were characteristic of a chemical weapons attack, particularly choking agents and organophosphorus agents or hydrocyanic acid.

Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mokdad said several coordination meetings were held with the OPCW team but he did not provide any further details as their schedule.

The United States, Britain, and France launched air strikes against Syrian government facilities on April 14 in response.

The government, however, said evacuations were continuing and no Syrian government forces had entered the town.

The trio of Western powers that carried out the strikes warned they would repeat the operation if Damascus used chemical weapons again.

Britain's envoy Peter Wilson urged the meeting "to act to hold perpetrators to account", saying failure to do so "will only risk further barbaric use of chemical weapons, in Syria and beyond". "They were given routine treatment", he told AFP.

Damascus and Moscow have vehemently denied that any chemical weapons were used and alleged instead that grim videos showing civilians foaming at the mouth after the attack were staged.

At least 40 people were killed in the Douma attack.

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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