UN hopes chemical arms team deploys to Syria soon

By REUTERS
March 27, 2013 19:20

 
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The United Nations hopes that a team investigating allegations about the use of chemical weapons in Syria's civil war will deploy to the country as early as next week, U.N. diplomatic sources said on Wednesday.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday named Swedish scientist Ake Sellstrom to head the U.N. team.

The United Nations said last week it would investigate Syrian allegations that rebels used chemical arms in an attack near the northern city of Aleppo, though Western countries want a probe of two additional rebel claims about the use of such arms. The opposition says the government carried out all three alleged chemical attacks.

Several U.N. diplomatic sources said on condition of anonymity the Ban hopes the team will arrive in Syria next week, though that may not be possible since the experts need to be assembled and approved and the investigation's mandate clarified.

"Whenever they get there, it will be the earliest possible date for them to arrive," a U.N. official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

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