Russian military vehicles enter Douma Damascus Syria April 2018

Cover image: Russian military vehicles enter the Douma district in the eastern countryside of the capital Damascus of Syria, on April 14, 2018. Credit: Ammar Safarjalani/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

Chemical weapons inspectors will be permitted to visit the site of an alleged chemical attack in Douma on Wednesday, Russia has announced.

The inspection team has been prevented from reaching the site since Saturday, leaving questions about the alleged attack unanswered. 

Syria and its ally Russia continue to deny that any chemical attack took place. 

However, the alleged attack on 7th April has prompted military sites on Syrian government targets by the US, UK and France. 

Bashar al-Assad and Vladimir Putin

Previously, Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) director-general Ahmet Uzumcu said Syrian and Russian officials cited "pending security issues" in keeping its inspectors from reaching Douma.

"The team has not yet deployed to Douma," two days after arriving in Syria, Mr Uzumcu told an executive council of the OPCW in The Hague.

Syrian authorities are offering interviews with 22 people as witnesses instead, he said, adding that he hoped "all necessary arrangements will be made ... to allow the team to deploy to Douma as soon as possible".

Deputy Russian foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov blamed the Western air strikes carried out early on Saturday for holding up a mission by the OPCW team to Douma.

He said the inspectors cannot access the site because it needs permission from UN security experts.

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