WHO Not Having Access to Syrian Town of Douma Yet – Spokesman

WHO Not Having Access to Syrian Town of Douma Yet – Spokesman
AP Photo / Hassan AmmarMiddle East10:15 17.04.2018(updated 10:54 17.04.2018) Get short URL

GENEVA (Sputnik) – The World Health Organization (WHO) does not have access to the Syrian town of Douma yet, the organization continues to work with local authorities to arrange the visit of a health assessment mission to the site of alleged chemical attack as soon as possible, WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told Sputnik.

“We don’t have access to Douma yet, but we are working with the relevant authorities to arrange a public health assessment inside Douma as soon as possible,” Jasarevic said.

The spokesman stressed that the WHO mission would work in Douma separately from the mission of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

Earlier in the day, Russian Permanent Representative to the UN Office in Geneva Gennady Gatilov said that the Syrian authorities had created all conditions for the normal work of the OPCW in Syria’s Douma.

READ MORE: Ex-US Envoy Explains Goals of Trump’s Strike on Syria

The statement came a day after the UK delegation to the OPCW said that Russia and Syria had not yet allowed access to the OPCW’s mission to Douma. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, however, refuted the allegations, saying that these were the consequences of the US airstrikes in Syria that hampered the efforts of the OPCW to probe the alleged attack in Douma.

Last Saturday, the United States, France, and the United Kingdom launched strikes on a number of targets in Syria in response to an alleged chemical attack in the Damascus suburb of Douma.

The attack came the same day that the OPCW mission was set to start the probe into the alleged chemical weapons use in Douma, which the West had immediately blamed on Damascus.