Syria chemical attack: Russian Federation and Syria BLOCK inspectors from Douma

Syria chemical attack: Russian Federation and Syria BLOCK inspectors from Douma

Syria chemical attack: Russian Federation and Syria BLOCK inspectors from Douma

The British ambassador Peter Wilson said Syria and Russian Federation were unable to guarantee inspectors' safety causing their trip to Douma to be delayed.

The Syrian regime and Russian Federation deny chemical weapons were used in the final offensive that captured Douma, a rebel-held territory east of Damascus.

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said on Sunday the United States would announce new economic sanctions aimed at companies dealing with equipment related to Assad's alleged use of chemical weapons.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Moscow would not delay its response to new USA sanctions.

"Unfettered access (is) essential", a British statement said.

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According to Hamilton 68, a website set up by researchers working with the Alliance for Securing Democracy, a transatlantic project set up to counter Russian disinformation campaigns - Syria is the leading hashtag on social media accounts identified as part of Russia-linked influence networks.

The US authorities are considering additional sanctions on Russian Federation and the relevant decision will be taken soon, according to the White House's statement TASS received on Monday.

"So I think everyone is going to be feeling it at this point. I think it is wrong to rely on speculations about such issues", Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said when asked a relevant question.

Three sites were hit - the Barzeh complex, which the United States says is a centre for development, production and testing of chemical and biological weapons, although Syria denies this.

The British envoy to the OPCW said it had recorded 390 allegations of the use of banned chemicals in Syria since 2014, and that a failure by the OPCW to act risked allowing "further barbaric use of chemical weapons".

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"The European Union will continue to consider further restrictive measures against Syria as long as the repression continues", they said in a statement after their talks.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister said any new United States strikes in Syria would provoke a tougher response and will resist any new attempts.

Alongside sanctions expected on Monday, the USA has launched strikes against Syria alongside the United Kingdom and France, with more than 100 missiles launched at three targets on Friday in a move Trump tweeted about on Saturday suggesting that the strikes meant it was "mission accomplished" in Syria.

The meeting in The Hague is behind closed doors, but Reuters reported the American ambassador, Kenneth Ward, as expressing concern the Russian forces there may have tampered with evidence. But it is unclear how much capacity Syria retains to produce chemical weapons and whether the strikes chipped away at the government's political will to deploy them. Its fact-finding team reached Syria on Saturday, the day of the US-led airstrikes against Syrian government targets in response to the April 7 attack.

The Western leaders were also facing scrutiny at home over their actions.

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Mr Lavrov said that the "deconfliction channel" to prevent a clash between USA and Russian forces had done its job and a confrontation had not been close.

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