FRANCE has accused Russia of trying to cover up the Syrian poison gas attack claiming “essential evidence” has vanished.
At least 70 people were killed, many of whom were little children, after aircraft’s dropped barrel bombs full of toxic chemicals in Douma on April 7.
Inspectors for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) arrived in Damascus on Saturday to investigate the suspected gas attack, but have only just been granted access to inspect the site today.
Further blasting Assad and his allies, the French government claimed the town is “completely controlled by the Russian and Syrian armies”.
In a statement released today, the French foreign ministry said: “It is highly likely that evidence and essential elements will disappear from the site, which is completely controlled by the Russian and Syrian armies.”
Syria and its ally Russia denied any chemical attack took place, and Russian officials went a step further, accusing Britain of staging a “fake” chemical attack.
The accusation comes hours after French officials announced Assad will be stripped of his Legion of Honor medal – the country’s most prestigious award.
Assad received the award from then French president Jacques Chirac, during a ceremony at the Elysee Palace in 2001, shortly after taking power.
France appeared to follow the United States’ once again, as Washington officials accused Russia of tampering with evidence at the site on Monday.
America’s concerns were echoed by Ahmet Uzumcu, Director general of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
Mr Uzumcu said according to NBC: “It’s our concern they may have tampered with it to thwart the fact-finding investigation.”
The accusation came just a few days after the United States, Britain and France conducted airstrikes targeting alleged chemical weapons facilities in Syria, in retaliation for a suspected poisonous gas attack.
French President Emmanuel Macron defended his decision to launch airstrikes on Syria, as he responded to criticism on the joint operation by France, Britain and the United States.
Speaking at European parliament on Tuesday, showing signs of anger and sometimes almost shouting. described the sickening images “we’ve seen of children, women who died of a chlorine attack”.
He asked: “Do we sit back, do we defend (human) rights by saying: rights are for us, principles are for us, and realities are for other? No, no!”
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