UNITED NATIONS- The opposition Syrian National Coalition on Wednesday denied Russian allegations that rebel fighters fired a projectile laden with the nerve agent sarin at a suburb of Aleppo in March, saying UN inspectors should be allowed to investigate the attack.
Separately, a Western diplomat said senior UN officials would head to Damascus soon to discuss ways of breaking the deadlock on access for a UN chemical weapons investigation team that has so far been unable to visit Syria.
"The Free Syrian Army strongly condemns all usage of chemical weapons against a civilian population and denies Russia's allegations about the FSA using chemical weapons in Khan al-Assal, Aleppo," Khalid Saleh, a spokesman for the coalition, said in a statement.
"Only the Assad regime has the know-how, capability and willingness to use these weapons," Saleh said, referring to Syrian President Bashar Assad.
"The coalition and supreme military council have asked for the UN monitors to come to Syria to investigate the use of these weapons and the Assad regime refuses to allow them to do so," he said.