Topic: Protests in Syria
- Russia Urges UN to Probe Syria Chemical Weapons Reports
- UN Studies Syria’s Chemical Attack Investigation Request
- Chemical Weapons Would be Syria ‘Game Changer’ – Obama
- Russia Alarmed by Alleged Chemical Weapons Use in Syria
- Syrian Chemical Weapons Under Control - FM Lavrov
- Washington Dismisses Report on Chemical Attack in Syria
NEW YORK, March 21 (RIA Novosti) – UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Thursday that the United Nations will open an investigation into an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria as soon as possible.
Ban said at a media briefing at UN headquarters in New York that the investigation would focus on a specific incident brought to his office’s attention by the Syrian government.
The Syrian authorities accused opposition militants on Tuesday of deploying chemical weapons in an attack near the northern city of Aleppo that state media reports claimed at least 25 lives and seriously injured more than 100.
The rebels have denied the allegation and instead accused the Syrian military of launching a Scud missile with a chemical warhead.
Ban said his “announcement should serve as an unequivocal reminder that the use of chemical weapons is a crime against humanity.”
The mandate, mission composition, and operational conditions of the probe still remain to be decided, Ban said.
Russia has already volunteered to provide specialists for the UN investigative mission.
“We proposed, in principle, that if we find a good Russian expert [on the issue], he should be included [in the mission],” Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin said on Thursday.
Susan Rice, the US ambassador to the UN, said in a statement on Thursday that Washington “welcomes” the probe and “supports an investigation that pursues any and all credible allegations of the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria.”
“We demand the full cooperation of the Assad regime in particular, as well as Syrian authorities throughout the country, including by providing full and unfettered access to all relevant individuals and locations,” Rice said.
Speaking during his visit this week to Israel, US President Barack Obama said that any use of chemical weapons by Syrian government forces would be a "game-changer” for his administration.
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