Chemical weapons inspectors reportedly visited the Syrian city of Douma to gather samples on Saturday following a suspected chemical attack in the area earlier this month.
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in a statement said their team went to one of the sites in the city to collect samples related to the alleged used of chemical weapons on April 7.
The samples are to be sent to OPCW labs to be analyzed, the statement said, and the organization “will evaluate the situation and consider future steps including another possible visit to Douma.”
The team will build a report based on the test results, in addition to “other information and materials collected by the team,” the statement said.
The visit would allow the agency to move forward with an independent investigation to find out what chemicals, if any, were used. The OPCW mission is not required to lay blame.
The alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma left at least 40 people dead and more than 500 people, mostly women and children, injured. The city is about 10 miles east of the Syrian capital, Damascus.
The incident prompted the United States, Britain and France, who blamed Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government, to launch precision military strikes in the country. President Trump announced the strikes in an address to the nation on April 13.
Pentagon officials said the attacks targeted the heart of Assad's programs to develop and produce chemical weapons.
The Syrian government and its ally Russia denied responsibility for the attack. Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned the strikes, calling them an “act of aggression,” that had the “destructive influence on the entire system of international relations and will exacerbate humanitarian catastrophe in Syria.”
OPCW inspectors arrived in Damascus just hours before the strikes but were delayed from visiting the site until Saturday, leading Western officials and Syrian activists to accuse Russia and the Syrian government of staging a cover-up.
Fox News’ Tariq Khan, Kathleen Joyce and The Associated Press contributed to this report.