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But reports of chemical attacks have regularly surfaced since then, and recent reports from Islamist rebels fighting Assad in Douma, the town where the most recent suspected chemical attack sparked the United States and allies' strike, said Assad is using the terrifying weapons to win on the battlefield.

The officials were greeted by a "large crowd" of protesters at one site, forcing them to withdraw while at the second site "they were subject to small-arms fire and an explosion", Wilson said, citing information from the OPCW director general.

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

"But it was the world saying that we have had enough of the use of chemical weapons, the erosion of that taboo that has been in place for 100 years has gone too far under Bashar Assad", he said.

Douma was the last rebel-held town near Damascus, and the target of a government offensive in February and March that killed hundreds of people and displaced tens of thousands.

Addressing the council, US Ambassador Nikki Haley said the United States was confident that the military strikes had crippled Syria's chemical weapons program.

United Nations Security Council-mandated inspectors have probed previous attacks and decided President Assad's regime was responsible four times, MPs were told.

Saturday's strikes by the U.S., Britain and France were in retaliation for a suspected chemical weapons attack by the Syrian military in eastern Ghouta.

He was referring to Russian Federation as an ally of the Syrian regime which stands accused of using some form of chemical agent on April 7, intending to break the resistance of rebels holed up in Douma, a suburb of the capital Damascus.


Russia's military said Tuesday it had uncovered a chemical weapons stockpile left behind by the rebels in Douma.

In fact, the OPCW said it was working closely with Russian Military Police to review the security situation in Douma.

The OPCW team dispatched to Syria to investigate does not have a mandate to assign blame.

The OPCW visit to Douma came hours after Syrian media reported airstrikes Tuesday on government military installations in the central Homs region and the suburbs of Damascus, but the military later said a false alarm had set off air defense systems. 'And the other thing is. if it is a gas attack, a chemical weapons attack, then that material is degrading in the atmosphere.

The United States has raised concerns that Russian Federation might have tampered with evidence on the scene - a charge Russian Federation vehemently denies - and it remains to be seen what investigators will find and what they'll have access to.

Alexander Shulgin, the Russian envoy at the OPCW in The Hague, said allegations that Russia might destroy evidence reflected Washington's effort to justify Saturday's strikes.

The inspection was initially delayed by Russian Federation and Syria, who reportedly refused to allow the chemical weapons team to enter the city. Macron said in an interview broadcast by BFM TV, RMC radio and Mediapart online news that he had convinced Trump to focus on the chemical weapons sites. It was thrown out altogether when Russia - Assad's ally - offered to dispose of Assad's chemical-weapons arsenal if the US refrained from launching airstrikes.

Maj. -Gen. Yuri Yevtushenko said "a Syrian security employee received light wounds during the crossfire".

Putin reportedly stressed to Merkel that he believed the US, UK and France had broken worldwide law and hampered the Syrian peace process.


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