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UN holds briefing on Syria inspection
Investigation team returns with blood samples from Syrian citizens, soil samples from area of alleged chemical attack. Tests on samples are expected to take days, but UN disarmament chief Angela Kane briefs Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on investigation

UN disarmament chief Angela Kane briefed Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon late Saturday on the findings of the UN investigation team, regarding the use of chemical gas in Syria. He will be briefed further on Sunday.  

 

The team on Friday had carried out a fourth and final day of inspection, as they sought to determine precisely what happened in the August 21 alleged chemical weapons attack near Damascus.

 

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UN chemical weapons inspectors are also believed to have arrived in the Netherlands, where samples they collected in Syria are expected to be repackaged and sent to laboratories around Europe. The goal will be to check them for traces of poison gas that may have been released in an August 21 bombardment of a Damascus suburb. UN members will be briefed on the findings as well, after lab results are established.

 

UN briefing on Syria (Video: Reuters)

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The inspectors left Syria and flew out of Lebanon early Saturday. An aircraft believed to have been chartered by the German government landed in Rotterdam on Saturday afternoon.

 

The United Nations on Saturday vehemently rejected suggestions that the world body was somehow stepping aside to allow US air strikes on Syria and said its humanitarian work in the conflict-ravaged country would continue.

 

"I have seen all kinds of reporting suggesting that the departure of the chemical weapons team somehow opens a window for military action of some kind," UN spokesman Martin Nesirky told reporters.

 

"Frankly, that's grotesque, and it's also an affront to the more than 1,000 staff, UN staff, who are on the ground in Syria delivering humanitarian aid and who will continue to deliver critical aid," he said..

 

 

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