Survivors of Syria gas attack saved evidence for inspectors

President Donald Trump announced on Friday he ordered strikes on the Syrian regime in response to a chemical weapons attack last weekend

Russia's Foreign Ministry says a team of global chemical weapons inspectors has departed for the Syrian town of Douma, site of an alleged chemical weapons attack that prompted a retaliatory missile strike by the US, United Kingdom and France.

Once samples and other information and materials collected by the team are analyzed, the OPCW will draft a report that will be submitted to the State Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention.

The mission will assess situation and consider steps to be taken in future, including possibility of a second visit to Duma, has exposed OPCW in a statement.

Russia, which is backing up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's administration, has already done its own investigation and is insisting that the use of chemical weapons was not confirmed.

Meanwhile, UN Security Council member states meeting in a remote farmhouse in Backakra on the southern tip of Sweden on Saturday were discussing the Syrian file and a new SC Resolution.

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Investigators finally collected evidence from the site for the first time on Saturday, the OPCW said.

The inspectors' report is highly anticipated, for despite reports of the deaths from Douma, Syrian and Russian state television have aired testimonies from local doctors and alleged victims denying that a chemical attack took place.

The United States has expressed concerns that Russian Federation could have tampered with the site while the OPCW's investigation was delayed. More than 80 people are said to have died in that attack.

Images that emerged from Douma in the hours after the attack showed lifeless bodies collapsed in crowded rooms, some with foam around their noses and mouths.

Opposition groups gave up the town in the days after the incident.

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Photo A plume of smoke rising in Douma, Syria on Friday.

The evacuations are the latest in a string of population transfers around the Syrian capital that have displaced more than 60,000 people as the government reconsolidates control.

United Nations officials and human rights groups say the evacuations amount to a forced population displacement that may be a war crime.

But they spent a week in the capital, unable to access Douma just a few miles to the east, even as groups of journalists visited the town on government tours.

Rebel-held pockets near Damascus have been witnessing intense bombardment and shelling from Assad's forces since Thursday.

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