Despite Trilateral Attacks OPCW Will Continue Douma Chemical Weapons Investigation

Monday, 16 Apr, 2018

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They have risked a confrontation with Moscow, the Syrian regime's top ally, with President Vladimir Putin warning that fresh attacks would spark "chaos", while Washington vowed economic sanctions against Russian Federation rather than further military action.

Yet the Pentagon has said it planned no further strikes and the West already appeared to be shifting its focus to renewed diplomatic action, with a new resolution to be debated at the UN Security Council on Monday.

In Assad's view, the airstrikes that were launched in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack by Syrian forces on the town of Douma will unify the country.

The Western countries blame Assad for the Douma attack that killed dozens of people.

The Syrian government and its ally Russian Federation have denied allegations of a chemical attack.

The bombings marked the biggest intervention by Western countries against Assad and ally Russian Federation.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the missile attack on Syria's military and civilian infrastructure facilities was carried out by United States warplanes and naval ships in cooperation with British and French on Saturday.

The governments of the US, UK and France say 105 missiles were launched at three sites in Syria as part of a coordinated operation early on the morning of 14 April, at around 4am local time.

Saturday's strikes came just hours before a team of experts from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons arrived in Damascus.

The words of the senior official revoiced the statement of the Russian embassy in the Netherlands that said earlier in the day that the United States was attempting to undermine the work of the OPCW that was set to start the probe into the alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma the same day, the U.S., the UK and France launched a missile attack on Syria. Moscow condemned the Western states for refusing to wait for their findings before attacking.

U.S. President Donald Trump lauded the "perfectly executed" strike, the biggest worldwide attack on President Bashar Assad's regime during Syria's seven-year war, but both Damascus and Syria's opposition rubbished its impact.

A group of Russian politicians has met with Syrian President Bashar Assad, whose mood they describe as good a day after Western airstrikes.

The Barzah Research and Development Center in Damascus, Syria, before it was struck by coalition forces on Saturday.

The leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah said on Sunday that Western strikes on Syria had failed to achieve anything, including terrorizing the army, helping insurgents or serving the interests of Israel.

The officials said they had videos and photos showing the remnants of at least two chlorine barrel bombs from the attacks with features consistent with chlorine barrel bombs from past attacks. They said the only forces with military aircraft such as helicopters in Syria belong to Assad's government.

The heavily armed, Iranian-backed Shi'ite Hezbollah movement, which fights alongside the Syrian army and is represented in the Beirut government, has been a vital ally of Damascus in Syria's seven-year war.

The site west of the city of Homs was an alleged underground chemical weapons storage facility, doubling as a command post.

In May past year, the BBC reported that the Barzah site was being used by the Syrian regime to install chemical weapons on long-range missiles, violating the 2013 agreement to eliminate chemical weapons from the country.

Pope Francis says he is "deeply disturbed" by the global community's failure to come up with a common response to the crises in Syria and other parts of the world.