Syria forces enter Douma, last holdout in rebel bastion - state media

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OPCW experts who have arrived in Syria to probe into a possible chemical attack in Douma plan to visit the site of the presumable incident on April 18, Igor Kirillov, the commander of Russia's NBC defense forces, said on Monday after a meeting of the OPCW Executive Council.

Russian Federation is denying any attempt to prevent access or scrub the site and is instead blaming the delay on the USA led airstrikes.

The missiles that US, French, and British warships fired on suspected chemical facilities Saturday constituted the biggest Western attack against the regime in the seven-year war to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Referring to economic sanctions, it said that "the European Union will continue to consider further restrictive measures against Syria as long as the repression continues".

Witnesses and Western governments said helicopters dropped sarin and chlorine bombs that killed many children and women who were sheltering from the fighting between rebels and government troops.

Talks were held behind closed doors at the Netherlands seat of the Nobel Peace prize-winning Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, two days after its mission arrived in Damascus.

Uzumcu told emergency talks of the organization in The Hague that Russian and Syrian officials have informed the OPCW team that there were "still pending security issues to be worked out before any deployment could take place".

Inspectors from The Hague-based OPCW travelled to Syria last week to inspect the site, but have yet to gain access to Douma, which is now under regime control.

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"We are concerned they may have tampered with it with the intent of thwarting the efforts of the OPCW fact-finding mission to conduct an effective investigation", he added in his speech, which was shared with news agencies.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov denied that Moscow had interfered with any evidence.

Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mokdad said several coordination meetings were held with the OPCW team but he did not provide any further details as their schedule.

Britain's delegation to the OPCW accused Russian Federation and the Assad regime of stopping inspectors from reaching Douma. "Russia and Syria must cooperate".

Syria and Russian Federation say there are still security concerns to take care of before the team can inspect the area.

The US launched military strikes on Friday night, alongside United Kingdom and French forces, aimed at reducing the Syrian regime's chemical weapons facilities.

"We called for an objective investigation. Therefore, allegations of this kind against Russian Federation are groundless", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

France urged OPCW nations to boost the organisation's work so it can completely dismantle Syria's "secret" toxic weapons programme.

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