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Several residents said that the doctors initially had been treated well, even being offered a meal with a Syrian security official before they were told to deny the attack on camera.

Experts have warned that the OPCW inspectors face an uphill challenge.

Russian Federation and the Syrian government deny responsibility for the alleged attack.

France has said it was very likely that evidence of the poison gas attack was disappearing before the inspectors could reach the town.

The OPCW team's arrival in Douma was postponed on April 14 after the US, UK, and France unleashed a bombing campaign on Syria.

Syria's United Nations ambassador said on Tuesday the fact-finding mission would begin its work in Douma on Wednesday if the United Nations security team deemed the situation there safe.

The Hague-based OPCW has 192 members, including the United States, Russia and Syria, covering about 98 percent of the world's population.

"At this time, inspectors from the OPCW still don't have access to the site of the gas attack in Douma", Le Drian said in a written statement. The relatively limited nature of the weekend attacks on alleged chemical-weapons facilities in Syria was seen as a positive sign in the Kremlin, considering President Donald Trump's ominous tweets announcing missiles would soon be flying.

Pierce said the United Kingdom can work with Russian Federation in the Security Council on issues like Somalia and Colombia which were on its agenda this week, "but on the biggest conflict issue of the day, Syria, they are proving very, very hard to work with". The Syrian military would then enter the town.

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Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie said at a Pentagon briefing that the United States believes the Syrian government, six days after the strikes, can still mount "limited attacks" but its ability to conduct research or improve chemical weapons has been degraded.

Russian Federation is now spreading videos featuring children, while the attacks took the lives of more than 45 people and left a large number of others injured.

The spokeswoman stressed that Moscow expected from the inspectors an impartial investigation and noted that the attempts by the OPCW to visit less places connected to chemical attack and question less eyewitnesses raise serious concerns.

The U.S. State Department has accused the Syrian government and its ally Russian Federation of trying to cover up the alleged April 7 attack.

"Especially since this is the first visit to the scene of a suspected chemical incident in the history of the so-called Syrian chemical record", it said.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's office says Iraqi fighter jets launched "lethal" airstrikes against the extremists in an area along the border.

On Thursday rebels surrendered their arms and abandoned the town of Dumayr, northeast of Damascus, after agreeing to be moved to rebel-held territories in northern Syria under an evacuation deal.

Chemical weapons inspectors have left the site of a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria and should have results from any samples within around a week, ITV News understands.

Al-Ikhbariya TV says the fighters from the Army of Islam rebel group and their families have begun evacuating the town of Dumayr, bound for opposition-held areas in the north as part of the agreement.

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