Delays keep inspectors from reaching Syria attack site

Delays keep inspectors from reaching Syria attack site
A girl shops at a kiosk in Damascus, Syria, Tuesday, April 17, 2018. The Arabic on the right reads, "Regards Assad, God protect you Assad." (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

BEIRUT (AP) — International chemical weapons inspectors do not appear to have visited the site of a suspected attack in Syria after days of delays by Syrian and Russian authorities.

Syrian state media reported Tuesday that inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons had entered the town of Douma, but Syria’s U.N. ambassador, Bashar Ja’afari, later said that only a U.N. advance security team had entered.

The U.S. State Department has accused the Syrian government and its ally Russia of trying to cover up the alleged April 7 attack. Spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Tuesday the U.S. did not believe the inspectors had entered Douma, and that the evidence is at risk of decaying as delays drag on.

There was no comment from the OPCW or the U.N. on Wednesday.