By Abdullah Asiran
The Dutch foreign minister said on Wednesday that there were “serious suspicions of the use of chemical weapons” in an attack in Syria’s Douma region.
“The use of chemical weapons is a serious violation of international law,” Stef Blok said in a statement.
“Based on a preliminary analysis of the 'Situation Center' of the OPCW [Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons], the existing OPCW Fact Finding Mission for Syria has immediately started collecting information from all available sources to determine whether chemical weapons have been deployed.
"This indicates that there are very serious suspicions of the use of chemical weapons,” Blok said.
The foreign minister described images coming from Douma as “terrible”.
The White Helmets, a civil defense agency, blamed the Syrian regime for Saturday's attack in Douma, a district in Eastern Ghouta, which it said killed 78 civilians and injured hundreds of others.
On Tuesday, Russia vetoed a UN Security Council draft text that would have established a new expert body to determine culpability for a suspected chemical attack in Syria.
The OPCW on Tuesday said it will deploy a fact-finding mission team to investigate the suspected chemical gas attack in Douma.