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OPCW says will not disclose details of investigative mission to Syria for security reasons

The dates of the experts’ arrival and departure, their numbers, routes and actions will be kept secret
OPCW headquarters in The Hague  AP Photo/Peter Dejong
OPCW headquarters in The Hague
© AP Photo/Peter Dejong

THE HAGUE, April 13. /TASS/. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said on Thursday it would not disclose details of its experts’ work in Syria for security reasons.

"We are unable to share operational details. This policy exists to preserve the integrity of the investigatory process and its results as well as to ensure the safety and security of OPCW experts and personnel involved," the OPCW Public Affairs said.

This policy applies to dates of the experts’ arrival and departure, their numbers, routes and actions.

"All parties are asked to respect the confidentiality parameters required for a rigorous and unimpeded investigation," the organization said.

The decision to send an OPCW mission to Syria to investigate reports of a chemical attack in the city of Douma was made on April 10. According to sources, the experts have already arrived in Lebanon and are due to depart to Syria soon, accompanied by officials of the UN Syria envoy’s office and the UN security department.

Some non-governmental organizations, including White Helmets, claim that chemical weapons were used in Douma, Eastern Ghouta, on April 7. According to the statement uploaded to the organization’s website on April 8, chlorine bombs were dropped on the city to kill dozens and poison other local civilians who had to be brought to hospital.

The Russian Foreign Ministry dismissed that as fake news. The Russian Defense Ministry stated that White Helmets were an unreliable source, notorious for disseminating falsehoods. The Russian center for the reconciliation of conflicting parties on April 9 examined Douma to find no traces of chemical weapons. Earlier, various official Russian agencies repeatedly warned that preparations had been underway in different parts of Syria for provocations and simulations of chemical attacks that would be blamed on government forces.