Chemical watchdog OPCW convenes as Syria mission begins

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Chemical watchdog OPCW convenes as Syria mission begins

The words of the senior official revoiced the statement of the Russian embassy in the Netherlands that said earlier in the day that the U.S. was attempting to undermine the work of the OPCW that was set to start the probe into the alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma the same day, the USA, the United Kingdom and France launched a missile attack on Syria.

Inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons have met Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad.

Eid had also appeared on CNN in April of 2017, after President Trump authorized a retaliatory strike on Syria for a similar chemical attack, and offered an emotional "thank you" to a president who was willing to challenge the brutal regime under which he had lived.

Trump launched a military strike against the Syrian regime almost one year ago targeting a government airbase also in response to a chemical weapons attack that killed civilians.

Before dawn on Saturday, a coalition of USA, United Kingdom and French forces launched more than 100 missiles targeting three chemical facilities in Syria in retaliation for an apparent chemical attack that killed dozens of civilians on April 7.

In the Syrian capital, thousands of people gathered on the main Umayyad square to express their support for President Bashar al-Assad in the aftermath of the missile strikes.

"We will ensure they can work professionally, objectively, impartially and free of any pressure", Assistant Foreign Minister Ayman Soussan told AFP.

The OPCW team will also have to deal with the risk that evidence may have been removed from the site, which lies in an area that has been controlled by Russian military police and Syrian forces over the past week.

Wresting back the opposition stronghold on the doorstep of Damascus had been a priority for the resurgent regime.

On Saturday, Trump called the strike "perfectly executed", on Twitter, writing, "mission accomplished!"

That drew derision from his critics and parallels with ex-President George W. Bush's notoriously premature Iraq war victory speech on an aircraft carrier nearly exactly 15 years ago.

British Tornado and Typhoon warplanes and French Rafale jets also took part in the strikes.

Haley later told CBS that sanctions would be announced, likely on Monday, against Russian companies supplying the Syrian regime.

Writing in the Telegraph, Boris Johnson said countries should know President Assad has not "got away with it".

They said worldwide inspectors should be given enough time to check the suspected incident before the US president gave an order to start military attacks.

The image below, released by the US Department of Defense, shows the damage up close.

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