Probe on alleged chemical attack in Syrian city close to conclusions: UN

UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) — The probe into the alleged chemical attack in Syrian city of Douma by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is close to its conclusions, the UN disarmament chief said Monday.

Briefing the UN Security Council on the elimination of chemical weapons in Syria, UN Under-Secretary-General of Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu said the OPCW director-general has informed her that his fact-finding mission is close to drawing its conclusions and will be issuing a report in due course.

On April 7, alleged use of chemical weapons in Douma, east of the Syrian capital of Damascus, killed at least 70 people. Syrian rebels and the West claimed chlorine gas was used in the attack by government forces, who denied the accusation. OPCW personnel entered Douma to start investigating the case in late April.

Meanwhile, Nakamitsu welcomed the OPCW director-general’s news that “the inspections at the Barzeh and Jamraya facilities are underway.” The two facilities are associated by some in the international community with Syria’s chemical capabilities.

Closing her briefing, the under-secretary-general noted the allegations regarding possible planned use of chemical weapons in Syria’s Idlib are continuing to surface, repeating the UN secretary-general’s appeal upon “all parties to exercise restraint.”

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