UN inspectors to finalize site inspections in Syria

Published September 29th, 2013 - 12:30 GMT
A convoy of United Nations vehicles carrying chemical weapons experts, leaves a hotel in the Syrian capital Damascus. [AFP]
A convoy of United Nations vehicles carrying chemical weapons experts, leaves a hotel in the Syrian capital Damascus. [AFP]

Another round of investigations is taking place in Syria by UN chemical weapons experts. This is the second visit by the group who arrived in Damascus last week.  


The specific investigation will cover seven alleged chemical weapons attacks in the region as reported by AFP. Today is expected to be the final day of their work with an expected report by late October.


This is a different group than the team expected to begin work in the coming days on destroying Syria's chemical stockpile.


The attacks being investigated include several that are still under dispute for the responsible party.


The sites being visited will include Khan al-Assal, the Sheikh Maqsud neighborhood of Aleppo city, and Saraqeb in the northwest province near the border of Turkey.


The team is also continuing to explore the August 21 attack in the outskirts of Damascus that began on their first mission to Syria last month.  A report already issued by the UN experts confirmed the use of the nerve agent in the area.


In addition, the team is investigating other subsequent alleged attacks in Bahhariyeh, the Jubar district of the capital, and Ashrafiyeh Sahnaya.


“In the course of performing their task, the experts have received several documents and samples and have conducted many interviews,” said the UN said in a statement.


Keeping in mind that the experts are required only to investigate whether chemical weapons were used, not to determine or enforce responsibility.


While both sides of the conflict attempt to hold the other side accountable, the focus of the UN has been to establish agreements to turn over chemical weapons before any legal action is brought about to the responsible parties.


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