Syria inspectors allowed in and MPs debate air strikes again
- Author: Adam Floyd Apr 19, 2018,
Apr 19, 2018, 1:52
Asked why the three countries launched a strike on Syria last Friday, the night before a team of investigators from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was due to visit the alleged attack site, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the U.S. and its allies couldn't wait for the results of the investigation.
The chief of the global chemical weapons watchdog says it remains unclear when a team of its experts can visit the Syrian town of Douma to investigate an alleged deadly chemical weapon attack.
The OPCW inspectors are tasked with assessing whether banned chemical substances were used in the April 7 attack on the city, which senior United States officials have said involved both chlorine and sarin gas.
The US-led strikes did nothing to alter the strategic balance or dent Assad's supremacy, and the Western allies have said the aim was to prevent the further use of chemical weapons, not to intervene in the civil war or topple Assad.
Relations between Russian Federation and the Western allies that launched co-ordination strikes on Syria in response to the suspected chemical attack have deteriorated in recent days. Even with the Douma investigation, there are allegations that Russian Federation has tampered with evidence on the ground.
In the southern suburbs of Damascus on Wednesday, Syrian government forces continued to shell neighborhoods held by ISIS, including parts of Yarmouk, the country's largest Palestinian neighborhood.
The U.S. ambassador to the OPCW, Kenneth Ward, said on April 16 that the Russians might have already visited the site of the alleged poison-gas attack, and expressed concern that "they may have tampered with it with the intent of thwarting the efforts of the OPCW fact-finding mission".
OPCW inspectors have been attacked on two previous missions to the sites of chemical weapons attacks in Syria.More news: Nawaz Sharif to visit ailing wife in London
Missile strikes on Syria at the weekend were an "act of aggression" which risk causing the outbreak of a wider conflict, a Russian diplomat has said. Syria and its main allies Iran and Russian Federation blamed Israel for that attack.
The OPCW certified in 2013 that the Syrian government had turned over all its declared chemical stockpiles, noting that the two caches unaccounted for were in rebel-held territory.
If you're wondering how the Iran Regime's apologists in the United States responded to the joint attack on Syria's chemical weapons facilities, it's exactly what you're imagining.
In her remarks at the J Street conference, Rice said she thought that Trump was "correct" to order a military strike following the first Assad chemical attack more than a year ago and went on to claim that Trump's "unpredictable" nature could have been advantageous at that time.
At the time of the alleged attack, Douma was held by the Jaysh al-Islam (Army of Islam). According to a Pentagon official, targets were selected that participated in the research, development and deployment of chemical weapons.
Even if they find that weapons have been used, the inspectors can't say who deployed them.
"The only thing that I can hope that is positive that came out of the bad news in Syria last week is to reinvigorate that political process", she said. Another strike earlier this month in Homs was blamed on Israel.