Chemical watchdog OPCW convenes as Syria mission begins

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The Syrian military late Saturday declared eastern Ghouta, the former rebel enclave of which Douma is the main town, fully retaken after a blistering two-month assault. The town was also the scene of a suspected poison gas attack on April 7 that prompted the U.S., Britain and France to launch missiles on Syrian military targets early Saturday.

Watch below to see Eid's powerful description of the chemical attack he survived and the oppressive and violent regime under which so many Syrians still live. An global fact-finding mission from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is in Syria and expected to visit Douma.

"For all the sound and fury of these strikes, their net effect is a slap on the wrist of Bashar al-Assad", said Nick Heras, an analyst at the Center for a New American Security. Syrian air defenses shot down 71 out of 103 cruise missiles, the ministry reported.

The front-page headline of the government daily Tishrin reads: "Our heroic army shoots down the missiles of aggression".

Asked about the refugee crisis that has aroused much controversy, Barnes said he was in favour of letting the refugees into the United States because the country is in part responsible for the crisis, not only in Syria, but also in other places around the world.

Francis called on "all people of goodwill" to join him in praying for peace, and appealed to political leaders to help "justice prevail".

Mr Johnson described the use of toxic weapons as "vile, sick and barbaric" adding it was a "pattern" of behaviour from the Syrian regime.

Chemical weapons inspectors have not yet been allowed access to Syria's Douma, UK officials said as the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) met to discuss the "alleged use of chemical weapons" in Syria. That's according to Dmitry Sablin, a member of the lower house of the Russian parliament, who was quoted by Russian news agencies.

Russian Federation also promised Monday, as the meeting in The Hague got under way, that it would not obstruct the fact-finding mission.

In a statement, the OPCW said it's Fact-Finding Mission will continue its deployment in Syria to establish facts about the allegations of use of chemical weapons.

"The bottom line for me is that this latest strike changed nothing", said Nabeel Khoury, a former USA diplomat and now a fellow at the Atlantic Council think tank.

France has continued to talk regularly with Russian Federation even as East-West tensions have grown.

But their unified stance appeared to be shaken Sunday when Washington knocked back French President Emmanuel Macron's claim that Paris had convinced Trump to stay engaged in Syria "for the long-term".

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