Syria chemical weapon sites
Syria chemical weapon sites / AP

The State Department announced Thursday that it has “credible information” that Russian officials are working with the Syrian government to delay a U.S. investigation into chemical attack sites in order to “sanitize” and “remove incriminating evidence.”

Spokeswoman Heather Nauert confirmed that officials from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) have yet to be allowed into Douma to inspect the area where they say a poison gas attack hit on April 7.

“We can confirm that the OPCW team has still not been able to enter Douma in Syria. It is now 12 days since the attack took place on men, women and children and those innocent civilians in Syria.”

She also said that evidence is pointing towards Russia and Syria for the delay, adding that they may be trying to conduct a “staged investigation.”

We have credible information that indicates that Russian officials are working with the Syrian regime to deny and to delay these inspectors from gaining access to Douma,” Nauert said. “Russian officials have worked with the Syrian regime, we believe, to sanitize the location of those suspected attacks and remove incriminating evidence of chemical weapons used.”