AMSTERDAM - The international chemical weapons watchdog was trying to determine on Monday whether dozens of people were gassed to death in an attack outside the Syrian capital Damascus.
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) chief, Ahmet Uzumcu, said it was responding with "grave concern" to the suspected chemical weapons attack on Saturday in the town of Douma, outside Damascus.
The OPCW's fact-finding mission, which was already investigating the use of chemical weapons in Syria's civil war, was gathering all available material to establish whether chemical weapons were used, it said in a statement
Part of the Hague-based OPCW's work will be to clarify what chemical agent may have been used, including the possibility that a cocktail of toxins may have been dropped on the neighborhood.
The suspected attack over the weekend killed at least 60 people and injured more than 1,000, according to a Syria medical relief group said.
The Syrian government denied its forces had launched any chemical assault, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said such allegations were false and a provocation.