Chemical investigators arrive in Syria after Douma falls to the regime

Damuscus: Investigators from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons have started arriving in Syria to investigate a suspected chemical attack that took place in Douma, the last stronghold of the rebels in eastern Ghouta.
The announcement that the OPCW would be investigating the alleged attack came as France’s President Emmanuel Macron said that he had proof that the Syrian regime was responsible for last Saturday’s attack.
It also came barely hours after the Russian military announced on Thursday morning that the Syrian regime is now in full control of the town on the outskirts of Damascus.
Speaking on TF1 television, Macron said “we have proof that chemical weapons were used, at least chlorine” in recent days by Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime. He did not elaborate on what that proof might be.
A suspected chemical attack has left hundreds of people struggling with respiratory issues in Douma in Syria’s Ghouta, according to the White Helmets. April 7, 2018.
He did not say whether France is planning military action against Assad’s government, but said he had been talking regularly this week with US President Donald Trump about the most effective response.
With increasing concerns about a US-Russia proxy war in Syria, Macron insisted that “France will not allow an escalation or something that could damage the stability” of the region. On Tuesday, Macron said any French action would target Syria’s chemical weapons abilities. He insisted he does “not want an escalation” and that any response would focus only on Syria’s chemical capabilities, not on allies of the regime.
Greg Simons, an associate Professor Russian and Eurasion Studies spoke to TRT World on the differences between Russia and the West over the alleged Douma chemical attack.
Syrian opposition activists and medics say the suspected gas attack killed more than 40 people. The Syrian government has denied the allegations.
Trump and other Western leaders have followed suit and vowed that there would response to Saturday’s alleged gas attack.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has called an emergency cabinet meeting for Thursday.
As it looked to head off the threat of Western strikes, the Syrian regime said it had invited the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which has blamed the regime for previous attacks, to visit the site.
In a brief statement on Thursday the OPCW said “confirms that the OPCW fact-finding mission team is on its way to Syria and will start its work as of Saturday 14 April 2018.”