Chemical weapons watchdog says experts have taken samples in Syria's Douma

VIDEO: REUTERS
A United Nation vehicle carrying the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons inspectors is seen in Damascus on April 17, 2018.
A United Nation vehicle carrying the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons inspectors is seen in Damascus on April 17, 2018.PHOTO: REUTERS

THE HAGUE (AFP) - Inspectors from the global chemical arms watchdog on Saturday (April 21)  took samples in the Syrian town of Douma after an alleged poison gas attack, the body said.

A fact-finding mission from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) visited Douma "today to collect samples for analysis in connection with allegations of chemical weapons use on 7 April 2018," the organisation said in a statement.

"The OPCW will evaluate the situation and consider future steps including another possible visit to Douma."

The Russian foreign ministry said earlier the team had arrived in the town “at the sites suspected of having toxic substances”.

“The security of the OPCW has been guaranteed not only by the Syrian side but also by the Russian command in Syria,” the Russian ministry said.

The samples collected by the nine-strong team will be brought back to the OPCW’s laboratories in Rijswijk, a suburb of the Dutch city of The Hague where the organisation has its headquarters.

They will be “dispatched for analysis to the OPCW’s designated labs. Based on the analysis of the sample results as well other information and materials collected by the team” a report will be drawn up, the OPCW added.