Syria forces enter Douma, last holdout in rebel bastion - state media

Allies vague on evidence linking Syria to chemical attack

Syria forces enter Douma, last holdout in rebel bastion - state media

The comments were made at a closed door meeting of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which is holding a special session on the April 7 attack in Douma, Syria.

The United States, United Kingdom and France launched missile strikes on a number of targets in Syria at 4 a.m. local time on Saturday in retaliation for the so-purported the chemical use.

The global chemical watchdog on Monday opened emergency talks on the suspected poison gas attack in the Syrian town of Douma, diplomatic sources told AFP.

The US envoy told the closed-door talks that Russian Federation may have "tampered" with the site of the attack.

"We are concerned they may have tampered with it with the intent of thwarting the efforts of the OPCW fact-finding mission to conduct an effective investigation", he added in his speech, which was shared with news agencies. Photographs and video from Douma documented victims suffering from symptoms consistent with exposure to toxic chemicals, such as asphyxiation and foaming at the mouth, the officials said. This was at the very beginning after this information [about the attack] appeared. "Therefore, allegations of this towards Russian Federation are groundless", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Despite a US-Russian agreement to completely eliminate Syria's chemical weapons program after hundreds of people were gassed with sarin in Ghouta on August 21, 2013, the OPCW had been unable to verify that all manufacturing, storage and research facilities were destroyed.

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Syrian air defenses responded firmly to the Western powers' attacks, shooting down most of the missiles fired at the country.

"I'm afraid the Syrian war will go on in its terrible, miserable way". In the case of chlorine, it is permitted to possess it for civilian use, but not to use it as a weapon.

The Kremlin dismissed accusations of tampering and delay as "groundless", and earlier vowed not to interfere with the work of the OPCW fact-finding mission in Douma, which is now in Syria to probe the alleged attack on Douma in which 40 people died.

The commander of Russian Radiological Protection Troops Igor Kirillov said on Monday that footage of the alleged chemical attack in Douma was deliberately staged and that the so-called evidence was "fake". European Union foreign ministers threatened similar measures.

It said no deaths from mechanical injuries were visible and all symptoms were characteristic of a chemical weapons attack, particularly choking agents and organophosphorus agents or hydrocyanic acid. "I think everyone knows that we sent a strong message, and our hope is that they listen to it".

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