U.N. chemical weapons inspectors leave Damascus
SYRIA, DAMASCUS : Syrians gather near a vehicle of the United Nations (UN) arms experts as they inspect a site suspected of being hit by a deadly chemical weapons attack last week on August 28, 2013 in the Eastern Ghouta area on the northeastern outskirts of Damascus. AFP PHOTO /MOHAMED ABDULLAH
Click here to add Ake Sellstrom as an alert
Disable alert for Ake Sellstrom,
Click here to add Angela Kane as an alert
Disable alert for Angela Kane,
Click here to add Ban Ki-moon as an alert
Disable alert for Ban Ki-moon,
Click here to add Barack Obama as an alert
Disable alert for Barack Obama,
Click here to add Bashar al-Assad as an alert
Disable alert for Bashar al-Assad,
Click here to add Damascus as an alert
Disable alert for Damascus,
Click here to add David Cameron as an alert
Disable alert for David Cameron,
Click here to add Francois Hollande as an alert
Disable alert for Francois Hollande,
Click here to add Le Monde as an alert
Disable alert for Le Monde,
Click here to add New York as an alert
Disable alert for New York,
Click here to add Reuters as an alert
Disable alert for Reuters,
Click here to add Security Council as an alert
Disable alert for Security Council,
Click here to add United Nations as an alert
Disable alert for United Nations,
Click here to add Washington as an alert
Disable alert for Washington
United Nations weapons inspectors left Damascus on Saturday, marking the end of their probe into the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime.
It may be two weeks before for final results are ready of an analysis of samples experts collected at the site of a chemical weapons attack last week in Syria are ready, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the five permanent Security Council members on Friday.
The 13 inspectors, led by Ake Sellstrom, left Syria and arrived in Lebanon on Saturday, Reuters news agency reported.
Washington said that 1,429 people, including 426 children, had died in a chemical attack launched by the regime of Bashar al-Assad last week.
Angela Kane, the U.N. disarmament envoy who had visited Syria with the UN experts, is expected to brief U.N. secretary general Bank Ki-moon in New York later Saturday.
The departure of the U.N. experts heightened expectations of a possible international military strike against the regime, according to AFP news agency.
U.S. President Barack Obama said on Friday that he is considering a “narrow” and “limited” attack on Syria. Obama said the ground forces would not take part in the attack.
Obama stressed that the main goal of an operation would be uphold the international norm that using chemical weapons is a red line. He said the conflict in Syria should be ultimately resolved diplomatically.
Obama’s efforts to put together an international coalition to support military action have been more down than up.
French President Francois Hollande has endorsed punitive strikes, and told the newspaper Le Monde that the “chemical massacre of Damascus cannot and must not remain unpunished.”
But British Prime Minister David Cameron’s attempt to win a vote of approval in Parliament for military action ended in ignominious defeat on Thursday. American attempts to secure backing at the United Nations have been blocked by Russia, long an ally of Syria.