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Watchdog sending team to probe alleged Syria gas attack

AFP  |  The Hague 

The global watchdog said today it will "shortly" deploy a fact-finding team to the rebel-held Syrian town of to probe an

Both and its ally have called on the (OPCW) to investigate after first responders said more than 40 people died in the on on Saturday.

"The technical secretariat has requested the Syrian Arab Republic to make the necessary arrangements for such a deployment," the said in a statement.

"The team is preparing to deploy to shortly," it added, saying the OPCW's wants the team "to establish facts surrounding these allegations."

The has maintained a presence in since it first set up its fact-finding mission in 2014 following repeated allegations of use.

But the deployment to will be the first time an OPCW team has moved outside since early 2014, when their convoy was attacked en route to Kafr Zita.

The lead vehicle hit a home-made roadside bomb, and as the team was being rescued they were ambushed and two people were briefly detained.

One person was slightly injured, but the attack left the organisation, mainly made up of scientists and technical experts, badly shaken.

The in said Tuesday it had passed along a proposal to the OPCW from "to immediately launch the investigation."


"The Russian Federation is fully committed to provide all necessary assistance" to ensure the mission's success as well as its "safety and security," it told the OPCW.

"Any delay of such inspection will play on the side of those seeking to use rumours about the incident as a 'Casus Belli' (justification for military action) for their irresponsible actions in Syria thus pursuing their geopolitical interests," the embassy added.

US has stepped up his warnings about possible US military action after the suspected weekend attack.

of the OPCW mission to Douma also came as the was due to vote later Tuesday on rival US and Russian draft resolutions in response to the alleged attack.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, April 11 2018. 00:20 IST
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