U.N. to probe alleged Syria chemical weapons attack: Ban

The U.N. is to probe alleged chemical weapon attacks in Syria. (Reuters)

 The United Nations will open an investigation into an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Thursday.

“The investigation will start as soon as practically possible,” Ban told reporters. The probe will be into an alleged chemical weapons attack Tuesday near the city of Aleppo.

He added that the investigation will look into “the specific incident brought to my attention by the Syrian government.”

Ban said he was aware of other allegations of the reported use of chemical weapons, but did not make clear whether these would be part of the investigation.

The secretary-general said he hopes the mission “will contribute to ensuring the safety and security of chemical weapons stockpiles in Syria.”

Ban said the investigation will start “as soon as practically possible” but “will not happen overnight.”

He said full cooperation from all sides will be essential and stressed that this includes “unfettered access.”

Reactions

The United States on Thursday welcomed U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s announcement of a U.N. probe into the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria, but urged the world body to investigate all credible allegations of such attacks.

“The United States supports an investigation that pursues any and all credible allegations of the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria, and underscores the importance of launching this investigation as swiftly as possible,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said in a statement.
 

 

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Last Update: Thursday, 21 March 2013 KSA 17:52 - GMT 14:52
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