Thursday April 19, 2018
The UN Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) continues to prevent chemical inspectors from entering Douma for their investigation, citing safety concerns. They have offered no timetable for when the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) inspectors will be allowed in.
The OPCW inspectors did not visit Monday, and there were a lot of allegationsexchanged as to why. Though British officials blamed Russia for the delay, it is now clear that the UNDSS is driving the scheduling.
The UNDSS team visited two sites in Douma, but fled both times. In the first case, they claimed there was a large crowd there, and they were concerned about safety. At the second site there was a report of an explosion nearby, and claimed to have come under small arms fire by some unknown faction. No UN workers were injured, though one Syrian was said to have sustained light injuries working in a security capacity.
The OPCW inspectors are supposed to look into an alleged chemical weapons attack earlier this month. There is no public proof that the strike took place, and a mounting amount of doubt that it didn’t, driven by inquiries from Robert Fisk. Residents within Douma have also expressed doubts about the strike.