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Russian Federation denied the claims, saying parts of Douma still needed to be de-mined and said the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) inspectors would enter on Wednesday. He said government officials met with the delegation several times to discuss cooperation. Journalists in Damascus were prevented by government minders from contacting the OPCW inspectors, and The Hague-based organization refused to comment on "operational details regarding the Douma deployment".

Chemical weapons inspectors in Syria are to be given access to an alleged chemical attack site on Wednesday, Russia said.

They would join tens of thousands who have been transferred in recent weeks from rebel-held areas around Damascus to areas in northern Syria controlled by rebel groups.

Douma is now in the hands of government forces after the last rebels withdrew just hours after U.S., French and British forces fired more than 100 missiles to hit three suspected chemical weapons development or storage sites.

Instead, Syrian authorities offered them 22 people to interview as witnesses, he said, adding that he hoped "all necessary arrangements will be made.to allow the team to deploy to Douma as soon as possible".

Given that 11 days have passed since the attack, some chemicals might be harder to trace.

Britain joined forces with the U.S. and France to launch airstrikes against Syria after Bashar al-Assad's Government was alleged to have carried out the chemical weapon attack which killed 70 people.

Saturday's air strikes were the first coordinated Western strikes against President Bashar al-Assad's government in a seven-year war that has killed more than 500,000 people and drawn in global powers and neighboring states.

The Russian military said last week its officers in Douma found no evidence to support reports of a gas attack.

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Big explosions were heard near Al Shayrat Air base, southeast of the city of Homs, and in eastern Qalamoun near Damascus where two other air bases are located, the Syrian Observatory for Human rights reported.

The reported attack led to Western airstrikes against the Syrian government over the weekend.

The OPCW team dispatched to Syria to investigate does not have a mandate to assign blame. Trump had ordered that assault in retaliation for a suspected chemical weapons attack on rebel-held areas in Khan Sheikhoun, in Idlib province.

But on Wednesday, OPCW said that's not what happened.

The West has accused Syria of failing to live up to its commitment to scrap its chemical weapons program, under a 2013 deal reached between the United States and Russian Federation.

U.S. President Donald Trump is still willing to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in spite of increasing tensions between the United States and Russia, White House Spokesperson, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said on Tuesday.

Uzumcu said on Monday that the Syrian government and its ally Russian Federation were blocking his team from visiting Douma. 'We've had over a week now where people, lots of different people, we don't know who may have traipsed in and out of that, ' he says.

United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Wednesday that Staffan de Mistura embarked on the consultations following a meeting Monday with Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the sidelines of the Arab League summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia "and in view of current tensions".

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday warned that if the strikes continue, "it will inevitably entail chaos in worldwide relations".


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