Global Watchdog to Travel to Syria to Probe Alleged Chemical Attack

Global Watchdog to Travel to Syria to Probe Alleged Chemical Attack

Global Watchdog to Travel to Syria to Probe Alleged Chemical Attack

Britain and the United States agreed on Monday that the attack bore the hallmarks of previous chemical weapons attacks by Assad's government, but neither country gave details of what kind of chemical might have been used or how the attack was staged.

Later, a rival Russian bid to create a new inquiry also failed after the proposed resolution only received six votes in favour.

All of this comes after President Trump tweeted Sunday that "Russia and Iran" were responsible for the chemical attack and wared there would be a big price to pay.

It's not clear how the OPCW inspection in Syria would impact the timing of potential US military action. Mr Trump also discussed the incident with French President Emmanuel Macron late on Monday, and both leaders expressed a desire for a "firm response", the Elysee Palace said.

Trump on Tuesday cancelled plans to travel to South America later this week, choosing to stay in the United States to manage the response to the events in Syria. "The president will remain in the United States to oversee the American response to Syria and to monitor developments around the world". Mattis was supposed to visit California and Nevada, the official added without giving further details.

Inspectors with the global chemical weapons watchdog will travel to the Syrian town of Douma to investigate reports of an attack there that killed as many as 60 people, the agency said in a statement on Tuesday.

Trump, asked at midday whether Russian President Vladimir Putin bore any responsibility for the weekend attack, responded: "He may, yeah, he may".

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Adding to the volatile situation, Iran, Assad's main ally along with Russian Federation, threatened to respond to an air strike on a Syrian military base on Monday that Tehran, Damascus and Moscow have blamed on Israel.

Several hours after the invitation, the OPCW said it will "shortly" deploy a fact-finding team to the rebel-held Syrian town of Douma to probe the alleged poison gas attack.

A draft resolution requires nine votes to be adopted in the 15-member council and no veto from the five permanent members - Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.

"This is about humanity, we're talking about humanity, and it can't be allowed to happen", he said.

After US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley promised a response "either way", Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said he feared Washington was looking for a military option.

Adding to the tensions, Iran, a strong ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad, threatened to respond to an airstrike on a Syrian military base on Monday that the Syrian government, Russian Federation and Iran blamed on Israel.

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