Syrian opposition demands UN inspectors probe alleged chemical attacks

By REUTERS
August 22, 2013 11:49

BEIRUT/AMMAN - Syria's opposition demanded on Thursday that United Nations chemical weapons inspectors immediately investigate a besieged rebel-held region hit by an alleged chemical weapons attack that killed hundreds of people a day earlier.

Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces have continued a heavy bombardment of the ring of rebel-held suburbs around the capital, known as the Ghouta region, which activists say will further hinder UN investigators from entering the area, only a few kilometers from where the team's Damascus hotel.

"We are asking for this team to go directly, with complete freedom ... to the site of the crimes which took place yesterday," George Sabra, a prominent member of the umbrella opposition's National Coalition, told Reuters.

He said the UN Security Council should amend the mission of the team, tasked with investigating a few sites of previous alleged chemical attacks, to give it the right to visit any site.

"But we are doubtful because the mission of these experts is constrained by the Syrian regime, limited to a few areas which it will take them to," he said by telephone.


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