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Chemical-Arms Inspectors Due In Syria's Douma, Russia Says

Chemical-Arms Inspectors Due In Syria's Douma, Russia Says”

The UK participated in the strikes in response to an alleged chemical attack by the Syrian regime on the rebel-held area of Douma on 7 April.

An internal White House quarrel over the timing of new Russian Federation sanctions played out in public when the new economic adviser suggested U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley was suffering from "momentary confusion" and Haley retorted: "With all due respect, I don't get confused".

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov denied the accusation, telling BBC he can "guarantee that Russia has not tampered with the site".

It was not known who carried out the attack, with Pentagon spokesman Heather Babb saying: "There are no U.S. or coalition operations in that area".

"Do we sit back, do we defend (human) rights by saying, 'Rights are for us, principles are for us, and realities are for others?' No, no!" the French leader said.

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The coalition attack also forced the Syrian authorities and the Russian military to change route plans and once again negotiate with some local groups in Douma to facilitate the safe access of the OPCW investigators to the site of the alleged chemical attack.

Activists on the ground in Syria said the attack killed more than 40 people and injured hundreds more sheltering from bombing in basements beneath the city.

But "strangers entered as we were in a state of chaos and spread a rumour among people there had been a chemical attack, and people became alarmed".

Mr Igor Kirillov, head of Russia's radiological, biological and chemical protection unit, told reporters the roads still had to be de-mined and cleared and would be tested by United Nations security services on Tuesday.

Experts from the global chemical weapons watchdog are in Syria and are now expected to visit that site in the town of Douma Wednesday.

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Increasing regional jitters, Syrian anti-aircraft defences shot down missiles fired at the air base of Shayrat in Homs province late on Monday and at another base northeast of the capital, Damascus, Syrian state television and pro-Iranian Hezbollah media said. However, the Pentagon said all the missiles successfully hit their designated targets. It also reported a separate air strike on the Dumayr air base near Damascus.

The reports came just a few days after the United States, Britain and France conducted airstrikes targeting alleged chemical weapons facilities in Syria, in retaliation for a suspected poisonous gas attack. Israel did not confirm or deny mounting the raid.

However, Russia has repeatedly denied all allegations.

Medical charities operating in opposition-held parts of Syria have dismissed those statements as propaganda, given under duress now that government forces control the town.

Jerry Smith, a former chemical weapons inspector in Syria and founder of the RameHead Consulting International security firm, warned that a substance like chlorine could "disappear in a couple of hours".

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