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UN chemical weapons experts resume work in Syria

September 26, 2013, 18:45 UTC+3
The team’s schedule is kept secret due to security considerations
1 pages in this article
Photo EPA/YOUSSEF BADAWI

Photo EPA/YOUSSEF BADAWI

CAIRO, September 26 (Itar-Tass) - United Nations chemical weapons experts on Thursday resumed the investigation of the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria. Local media report that the team of inspector has left hotels in Damascus.

The team’s schedule is kept secret due to security considerations.

On Wednesday, U.N. Spokesperson Martin Nesirky said that team’s schedule would depend on the security situation in the areas of alleged chemical attacks. He also said the U.N. mission would discuss with the Syrian government information the Syrian authorities might have about their reports of the use of chemical weapons in incidents on August 22, 24 and 25.

On Wednesday, the U.N. mission headed by Professor Ake Sellstrom (Sweden) returned to Syria to continue the investigation of the alleged use of chemical weapons in that country. During their previous trip to Syria, the experts had established that the nerve gas sarin had been used in Damascus’ suburb Ghouta on August 21.

Based on the evidence obtained during the investigation of the Ghouta incident, the conclusion of the U.N. Mission is that, on August 21, 2013, chemical weapons have been used in the ongoing conflict between the parties in Syria on a relatively large scale. In particular, the environmental, chemical and medical samples collected by the Mission provide clear and convincing evidence that surface-to-surface rockets containing the nerve agent sarin were used in the Ghouta area of Damascus.

Last week, the mission head said the mission’s report about the August 21 chemical attack near Damascus was not complete. He said there were other proofs of the involvement of both parties to the conflict. These evidences had been submitted to the United Nations Secretary General, he added. In his words, there could be about 14 instances of the use of chemical weapons and these facts required a new investigation. The complete report will be ready by late October.

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