Syria's U.N. ambassador said a United Nations security team traveled to the Syrian town of Douma ahead of a planned visit by global chemical weapons experts on Wednesday to look into a suspected poison gas attack that sparked a USA -led retaliatory strike. They are still waiting to visit nearby Douma, 11 days after the alleged attack took place.
Bashar Ja'afari said if the team decides "the situation is sound", the fact-finding mission from the global chemical weapons watchdog - Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons - will start work there Wednesday.
Nebenzia told the council that not even a day after the airstrikes, the U.S., France and Britain circulated a draft United Nations resolution calling for an urgent resumption of negotiations between the Syrian government and opposition as well as an independent body to assess blame for chemical attacks and humanitarian access throughout Syria.
Syria and its ally Russia deny any chemical attack took place, and Russian officials went even further, accusing Britain of staging a "fake" chemical attack.
He spoke of the "outrage by images we've seen of children, women who died of a chlorine attack".
Shayrat airbase was targeted past year in a USA cruise missile attack in response to a chemical attack that killed at least 70 people, including children, on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun.
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Meanwhile, Syrian Ambassador to the world body, Bashar al-Jaafari told a meeting of the UN Security Council that the "Syrian government did all that it can do to facilitate the work of this mission".
Russian Federation has sought to absolve Assad of any guilt by blaming a rebel group, called the White Helmets, for carrying out the alleged chemical attack. Israel did not confirm or deny the allegations.
"At present, we do not know when the FFM [fact-finding mission] team can be deployed to Douma", OPCW Director-General Ahmet Üzümcü says in the statement. UK Prime Minister Theresa May also told parliament on Monday that neither Syrian rebels nor "Islamic State" terrorists had the means of carrying out such an attack.
An Associated Press team visited the site on a Syrian government-organized tour Monday, including a two-room underground shelter where one resident said 47 people were killed, including his pregnant wife and two young daughters. 'And the other thing is. if it is a gas attack, a chemical weapons attack, then that material is degrading in the atmosphere. The Army of Islam surrendered Douma two days later. Nuseir said a cylinder was found leaking the poison gas, adding that he didn't think it was dropped from the air because it still looked intact. At least 40 people are believed to have been killed in the attack.
Eliot Higgins, who runs Bellingcat, a research network that investigates conflicts, told The National that depending on the type of chemical used, the delays could hamper any investigation.
But amid rising tension, Kelley Currie, deputy United States ambassador for economic and social affairs, described Russia's call as an attempt to deter focus away from the "atrocities" committed by the Syrian government.
Medical charities operating in opposition-held parts of Syria have dismissed those statements as propaganda, given under duress now that government forces control the town.