[Graphic News] Syria's chemical weapons

Syrians wave the national flag and portraits of President Bashar al Assad in Damascus on Saturday

Russian military police were ready to help protect the OPCW experts on their visit to Douma, said Major General Yuri Yevtushenko of the Russian military's Reconciliation Centre in Syria.

The OPCW is investigating reports that government forces gassed sites in Douma on April 7, when the town was still held by rebels and home to tens of thousands of people - residents and others who were displaced by fighting elsewhere.

Kenneth Ward, US ambassador to the OPCW, raised fears that Syria's ally Russian Federation may have sent soldiers to hide evidence after at least 40 people including children died.

"It is us and the Syrians who are answering to the entire global community, the director general of the OPCW, and finally to the families, relatives and friends of the courageous OPCW inspectors who, despite all difficulties, are determined to fulfill their duty".

She even won support from a series of Labour MPs who backed her decision to join the United States and France in mounting strikes.

On Monday, OPCW Director-General Ahmet Uzumcu said Syrian and Russian authorities had blocked its inspectors from going to Douma and instead offered them 22 people to interview as witnesses.

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Both Syria and its main backer, Russia, deny the Syrian government used chemical weapons.

But Russian officials at OPCW headquarters in The Hague have said arrangements are being made for the inspectors to travel to the site.

Syria and Russian Federation deny unleashing poison gas on April 7 during their offensive on Douma, which ended with the recapture of the town that had been the last rebel stronghold near the capital, Damascus.

"Or maybe they are afraid that the experts, after conducting their work on the ground, will refute the false version which served as a reason for the air strike carried out by the United States, Britain and France against defenceless Syria". A Pentagon spokeswoman said there was no USA military activity in the area. Israel did not confirmed or deny mounting the raid. The three countries had planned a coordinated strike on Syria in response to the chemical attack and was executed recently. Several said a unusual smell started spreading and people screamed, "It's chlorine!"

Since Feb. 19, more than 1,400 people have been killed in attacks by the regime and its allies in Eastern Ghouta, according to local civil-defense sources.

"While searching the site, the Russian nuclear, chemical and biological-warfare units have found substances that fall under the Convention for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons", Colonel Aleksandr Rodionov, an officer with the Russian nuclear, chemical and biological-warfare troops, told journalists.

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