Chemical arms experts blocked from site of Syria attack

AFPThree targets were hit with missiles

The Syrian state news agency SANA earlier reported that the worldwide experts from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) had entered Douma to begin their investigation of whether chemical agents were used as a weapon.

The alleged gas attack, which Syrian activists say killed more than 40 people, prompted punitive US, British and French airstrikes.

The delegation from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) entered the town near the capital, Damascus, along with the Syrian health minister on Tuesday, a source close to the government told Germany's DPA news agency.

The coalition attack also forced the Syrian authorities and the Russian military to change route plans and once again negotiate with some local groups in Douma to facilitate the safe access of the OPCW investigators to the site of the alleged chemical attack.

"It was about a limited, targeted and effective strike that sought to alleviate the humanitarian suffering of the Syrian people by degrading the Syrian regime's chemical weapons capability and deterring their use".

The reports did not say who carried out the pre-dawn strikes.

The Associated Press, during a government-organized visit Monday to Douma, spoke to survivors and witnesses who described being hit by gas.

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The Syrian government and Russian Federation have denied using chemical weapons and accused rebels, with Western backing, of using such weapons or faking such an attack.

Syria and Russian Federation deny unleashing poison gas on April 7 during their offensive on Douma, which ended with the recapture of the town that had been the last rebel stronghold near the capital, Damascus.

He said the joint action of the US, Britain and France was aimed at placing a prohibitive cost on the use of chemical weapons and degrading Assad's ability to use them.

According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, Syrian air defense units were scrambled to thwart the aerial invasion, intercepting 71 out of 105 cruise missiles.

It was after the strikes launched by the United States, the UK and France against Syria, when the most radical militant groups renewed active hostilities against the Syrian Army in the Douma region. He denied that Russian Federation was hampering the mission and suggested the approval was held up because of the Western airstrikes.

The Pentagon said there was no United States military activity in that area "at this time". Trump was also willing to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, she added, while indicating that no such encounter was imminent.

OPCW inspectors have been attacked on two previous missions to the sites of chemical weapons attacks in Syria. Israel did not confirmed or deny mounting the raid.

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