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OPCW experts arrive in Syria’s Douma — state TV

The experts are expected to collect information about an alleged chemical weapons attack

MOSCOW, April 17. /TASS/. Experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) are arriving in the town of Douma in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta, the Syrian state TV said on Tuesday.

The experts are expected to assess the situation and collect information about an alleged chemical weapons attack.

Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Ayman Sousan said earlier that the Syrian state would provide assistance to international experts. According to him, Damascus expected members of the Fact Finding Mission to carry out their task in an impartial way, not giving in to the pressure they had been facing. Syria also expects a report the experts will release to denounce false allegations that Syria and its allies - Russia and Iran - have already rejected, the deputy foreign minister added.

According to the White Helmets organization, a chemical weapons attack took place in Eastern Ghouta’s town of Douma on April 7.

The Russian Foreign Ministry slammed this allegation as a bogus story, while Russia’s Defense Ministry pointed out that the White Helmets were not a reliable source of information as they were known for spreading fabricated news. On April 9, officers from the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the opposing sides in Syria visited Douma but did not find any traces of chemical weapons.

On April 14, the United States, Great Britain and France carried out a missile attack on Syria’s military and civilian infrastructure facilities. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Syrian air defenses managed to shoot down 71 out of 103 missiles.

Washington, London and Paris claimed the strikes to be a response to a chemical weapons attack, which had allegedly happened in Douma.