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OPCW 'enters Syria's Douma' to probe gas attack allegation

OPCW 'enters Syria's Douma' to probe gas attack allegation
From Al Jazeera - April 17, 2018

Chemical weapons inspectors have entered the Syrian town of Douma to probe an alleged poison gas attack, according to the state-run SANA news agency.

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.

"What we understand is that they are going to inspect and investigate the site of that alleged chemical weapons attack," said Al Jazeera's Zeina Khodr, reporting from Beirut in neighbouring Lebanon.

"They are going to take samples and talk to witnesses, doctors and people who were there," she added.

The reported toxic gas attack on Douma on April 7 sparked joint missile strikes by the United States, France and Britain on Syrian military installations.

The punitive attacks early on Saturday were launched before a fact-finding team from the OPCW was able to enter Douma and begin its fieldwork.

Earlier on Tuesday, the mission had appeared in question.

During an emergency meeting on Monday at the OPCW'sheadquarters in The Hague, Western diplomats accused theSyrian government and its Russian ally of blocking the team, which arrived in Damascus on Saturday.

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