US: Russia, Syria may tamper with Douma evidence - Reuters

As reported by Reuters, the US accused Russia of interfering with international attempts to gain access to the Douma attack site of last weekend's chemical weapons strike, leading the US to accuse Russia and Syria of colluding to tamper with or destroy evidence on the ground in Syria.

Key quotes:

"Moscow denied the charge and blamed delays on retaliatory U.S.-led missile strikes on Syria on Saturday."

"Syria and Russia deny unleashing poison gas on April 7 during their offensive on Douma, which ended with the recapture of the town that had been the last rebel stronghold near the capital, Damascus."

"Inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) traveled to Syria last week to inspect the site, but have yet to gain access to Douma."

"“It is our understanding the Russians may have visited the attack site,” U.S. Ambassador Kenneth Ward said at an OPCW meeting in The Hague on Monday."

"“It is our concern that they may have tampered with it with the intent of thwarting the efforts of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission to conduct an effective investigation,” he said. His comments at the closed-door meeting were obtained by Reuters."

"Britain’s delegation to the OPCW accused Russia and the Assad government of stopping inspectors from reaching Douma. “Unfettered access is essential,” it said in a statement. “Russia and Syria must cooperate.”"

 

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