Saturday 19 August 2017

Chemical weapons inspectors 'refused to visit key Syrian sites'

The Syrian government has denied ever using chemical weapons (AP)
The Syrian government has denied ever using chemical weapons (AP)

A top Syrian official has said chemical weapons inspectors refused to visit key sites linked to a nerve gas attack, casting doubt on the international monitor's credibility.

Syrian deputy foreign minister Faisal Mekdad dismissed a report by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) released last week, which confirmed the use of sarin gas on the opposition-held town of Khan Sheikhoun in April.

He said OPCW inspectors refused government invitations to visit the site of the attack, or the military airport allegedly linked to the incident.

The report, which relied on samples taken to Turkey, did not say who was responsible for the attack.

Western nations blamed the attack on Syrian government forces, and US president Donald Trump ordered a missile attack on a Syrian air base in response.

Syria insists it has never used chemical weapons.

Press Association

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