The United Nations chemical watchdog has started emergency talks on the alleged chemical attack in Syria’s Douma, diplomatic sources say.
The British, Russian and French ambassadors to the Netherlands are participating in the closed-door talks which are in session at the headquarters of the 192-member Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague.
The talks come as OPCW inspectors arrived in Damascus on Saturday at the request of the Syrian government to determine whether chemicals were used in Douma near the capital Damascus.
Monday’s meeting of the body’s governing executive council, which consists of 41 states, was called by its chairman, Bangladeshi ambassador Sheikh Mohammed Belal.
The alleged chemical attack was used as an excuse by the US, Britain and France to launch an airstrike on targets near Damascus and Homs before any investigation was conducted.
The Western trio fired more than 100 missiles at Syria in the early hours of Saturday, for the declared purpose of crippling the county’s chemical production facilities over the alleged gas attack.
Russia vows ‘not to interfere’ in OPCW work in Syria
Also on Monday, Russia vowed not to interfere with the OPCW fact-finding mission in Syria.
“Russia confirms its commitment to ensure safe (sic) and security of the mission and will not interfere in its work,” the Russian Embassy in The Hague posted on its twitter account.
The embassy also censured the US, noting that Saturday’s bombing of Syria was a bid “to undermine the credibility” of the mission.
The Syrian government surrendered its chemical weapons stockpile during a process monitored by the OPCW in 2013.