OPCW in­ves­ti­ga­tors ar­rive in Douma says Syr­ian state me­dia

Global Times US Edition - - WORLD -

Syr­ian state me­dia re­ported Tues­day that in­ves­ti­ga­tors from the world’s chem­i­cal watch­dog had en­tered Douma, a town out­side Da­m­as­cus where an al­leged gas at­tack hap­pened.

The sus­pected gas at­tack on April 7 re­port­edly left more than 40 peo­ple dead and was blamed by West­ern pow­ers on the regime of Syr­ian Pres­i­dent Bashar al-As­sad.

In re­sponse, the US, France and Britain con­ducted un­prece­dented mis­sile strikes on Syr­ian mil­i­tary in­stal­la­tions, but Paris ad­mit­ted on Tues­day they were a mat­ter of “honor” that had solved noth­ing.

“Ex­perts from the chem­i­cal weapons com­mit­tee en­ter the town of Douma,” state news agency SANA wrote, re­fer­ring to the Or­ga­ni­za­tion for the Pro­hi­bi­tion of Chem­i­cal Weapons (OPCW).

The in­spec­tors ar­rived in Da­m­as­cus on the day of the West­ern strikes but had not been al­lowed to en­ter Douma.

France and the US ap­peared to ques­tion the pur­pose of such a mis­sion, warn­ing that any in- crim­i­nat­ing ev­i­dence had likely been re­moved by now.

“It is highly likely that ev­i­dence and es­sen­tial el­e­ments dis­ap­pear from the site, which is com­pletely con­trolled by the Rus­sian and Syr­ian armies,” the French for­eign min­istry said.

In an im­pas­sioned de­fence to the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment on Tues­day, France’s Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron ad­mit­ted that Satur­day’s strikes had been a more po­lit­i­cal than mil­i­tary de­ci­sion.

“Three coun­tries have in­ter­vened, and let me be quite frank, quite hon­est – this is for the hon­our of the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity,” he said in the French city of Strasbourg.

“These strikes don’t nec­es­sar­ily re­solve any­thing but I think they were im­por­tant,” Macron added.

The French leader was also set to strip Syr­ian Pres­i­dent Bashar al-As­sad of a pres­ti­gious award he was granted by for­mer pres­i­dent Jacques Chirac in 2001.

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