United Nations investigators begin last chemical probe in Syria

The United Nations team of chemical weapons inspectors has headed out on the last day of its probe into a deadly poison gas attack in Syria.

According to a security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity on Friday, the inspectors left their hotel to visit a military hospital in Mazzeh district situated in western part of the capital, Damascus, where those injured in the chemical attack are being treated.

The official also added that the UN-marked cars carrying the inspectors were escorted by several vehicles belonging to Syrian troops.

The team of chemical weapons experts is expected to leave Syria on Saturday morning in order to prepare a report on the deadly attack for the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

On August 28, Ban said the inspectors needed four days to conclude their investigation.

On August 21, the foreign-backed militants operating inside Syria, along with the Syrian opposition, claimed that the government forces had used chemical weapons in an attack against militant strongholds in the Damascus suburbs of Ain Tarma, Zamalka and Jobar, killing hundreds of people. Syria has categorically rejected the allegation.

Since August 27, speculations have become stronger about the possibility of a military attack on Syria. Media outlets reported US plan for likely surgical attacks, which would be in the form of “cruise-missile strikes,” and “could rely on four US destroyers in the Mediterranean [Sea].” The plan was said to be awaiting US President Barack Obama’s go-ahead.

On Thursday, the Russian Foreign Ministry quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov as saying, “Declared plans by some states to inflict a military strike on Syria are an undisguised challenge to the key provisions of the UN Charter and other norms of international law.”

Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced due to the violence.

By Press TV

 

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