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Chemical Weapons Inspectors Visit Douma, Syria



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Updated April 21, 2018 at 9:08 am EDT

A chemical weapons organization OPCW team visited a "for sample collection for analysis" site in Douma, Syria, on Saturday, along with a reputed one Chemical Weapon Attack, which sparked a retaliatory rocket strike this past weekend by the US, UK, and France.

The OVCW announced the visit in a statement that it would "evaluate the situation and reflect on future action for another possible visit to Douma."

Inspectors of the OVCW have been in Damascus for a week before moving to the city ̵

1; just minutes from the capital – could visit where the alleged plot took place on April 7 CBS News & # 39; reports Seth Doane . A United Nations preparedness team withdrew from Douma after it came under fire on Tuesday at one of the inspection sites. There was also a small explosion on the construction site. This delayed the international weapons inspectors who arrived in Damascus last weekend to determine what had happened in early April.

Russian Ministry spokeswoman Maria Sakharova said in a statement on Saturday that the delays were "unacceptable" for the OPCW team.

The city of Douma was under rebel control at the time of the attack and faced a violent air raid by the government. Militants gave up the city days after the alleged attack that killed more than 40 people.

The United States, France and Britain accused the Syrian government and one week later attacked alleged Syrian chemical weapons facilities. The Syrian government and its ally Russia have refused responsibility for the attack.

Images that appeared in the hours after the Douma attack showed lifeless bodies in crowded rooms, some with foam around their noses and mouths. Thousands of people – rebels and civilians – left Douma for buses to northern Syria in the following days, believing that they could not reconcile with the government after taking over the city. Northern Syria is divided into opposition, Turkish and al-Qaeda control.

The evacuations were the last of a series of population transfers around the Syrian capital that displaced more than 60,000 people as the government regained control after seven years of civil war.

U.N. Officials and human rights groups say the evacuations equate to a forced displacement of the population, which could be a war crime.

On Saturday, rebels began evacuating three cities in the eastern region of Qalamun in Damascus, state television reported. State broadcaster Al-Ikhbariya TV said several buses left Ruhaiba, Jayroud and al-Nasriya with hundreds of rebels and their families in opposition areas in northern Syria.

The station said it could be 3,200 rebels leaving three cities on Saturday. It was said that the evacuations would take another three days.

The Syrian government forces will take over the cities as soon as the departure is completed.

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