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British ambassador to OPCW: Inspectors ready for Douma, need Russian protection

Russian officials have said that the inspectors were unable to reach Douma because they had not been cleared by the United Nations.

A Syrian man carries two children in the rubble of buildings following regime air strikes on the rebel-held besieged town of Douma in the eastern Ghouta region, on the outskirts of the capital Damascus, on 7 February 2018. Picture: AFP

THE HAGUE - Britain’s ambassador to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said on Monday that Russian assertions about why a team of inspectors had so far been unable to reach Douma, Syria were incorrect.

Russian officials have said that the inspectors were unable to reach Douma because they had not been cleared by the United Nations and because of US-led strikes carried out on targets in Syria on Saturday prevented them.

But Ambassador Peter Wilson said at a news conference in The Hague that the United Nations had cleared the inspectors to go, and they had been unable to reach Douma because Syria and Russia had been unable to guarantee their safety.

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