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Syria invites chemical weapons inspectors to probe attack claims

Syrian opposition activists said 40 people died in Saturday night’s alleged chemical attack in the town of Douma.

Syria said it has invited the international chemical weapons watchdog to send a fact-finding mission into the country to investigate a suspected poison gas attack near Damascus over the weekend.

The Foreign Ministry said Syria will help the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to investigate the alleged attack, which opposition activists say killed 40 people over the weekend.

The Syrian government denied it carried out a poison gas attack in Douma, the last rebel-held town in the eastern Ghouta suburbs.

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(PA Graphics)

Washington has threatened to take military action against Syria to punish it for the alleged attack.

Syria called on the OPCW to work with “full transparency and rely on credible and tangible evidence”.

Meanwhile, US president Donald Trump will miss an upcoming summit in South America and will remain in the US to “oversee the American response to Syria and to monitor developments around the world”.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Mr Trump will not attend the Summit of the Americas in Lima, Peru or travel to Bogota, Colombia as planned. Vice president Mike Pence will travel in his place. The summit was scheduled to begin on April 13.

Mr Trump said on Monday he would “forcefully” respond to the alleged chemical weapons attack.

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