NATO calls for 'observer access' to Syria town

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said those responsible for an alleged poison gas attack in Syria must be held accountable
Thursday, 12 April 2018 20:42

NATO is calling on Russia and Iran to make sure that 'international observers and medical staff' are being allowed in and around the area of the alleged chemical attack in Syria.

"We condemn in the strongest terms the use of chemical weapons," Stoltenberg said. "We call on the Syrian regime and its backers to allow full and unimpeded access to international medical assistance and international monitoring," he said.

However, the Syrian government has already invited the global chemical watchdog to visit the liberated Syrian town of Douma to probe an alleged poison gas attack.

Stoltenberg said that consultation was ongoing among the NATO allies on how to respond to the suspected chemical attack, and said "it is important that those responsible are held accountable."

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told Congress on Thursday that the US military does not have evidence that either chlorine or sarin was used in an alleged chemical attack in the Syrian town of Douma, adding that the Pentagon's only proof that such an incident occurred has come from social media and media reports.

Reports about the alleged attack in Duma, located in the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta, emerged on Saturday. The European Union and the United States have rushed to blame the forces of the Syrian government for the incident, however, Damascus has refuted the allegations.