MOSCOW, August 23 (RIA Novosti) - UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has asked the Syrian Government to allow a team of UN experts to investigate the latest claims that chemical weapons were used in Syria, the United Nations has reported on its website.
“The secretary general believes that the incidents reported yesterday need to be investigated without delay,” Ban’s spokesperson told reporters in New York on Thursday.
The UN chief is deeply troubled about the alleged chemical weapons use in Syria, the spokesperson said, adding that Ban was sending one of his senior officials to Damascus in that regard.
The Syrian opposition has accused the government of killing scores of people in a massive nerve gas attack in Damascus on Wednesday, with death toll estimates varying from a hundred to more than a thousand people. The Syrian government promptly denied the reports as baseless.
The UN team of chemical weapons investigators, headed by Swedish expert Ake Sellstrom, started working in Damascus on Monday. The team is expected to visit three sites where chemical weapons attacks allegedly occurred earlier. One site is the town of Khan al-Assal, in Syria’s northern Aleppo province, where the Syrian government claimed rebels used chemical weapons in March.
The unrest in Syria began in March 2011 and later escalated into a civil war. More than 100,000 people have been killed in the conflict so far, according to the UN.