UN Chemical Arms Experts Arrive in Syrian Capital [Photo]
United Nations experts arrived in Damascus on Sunday to begin an investigation into alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria’s ongoing civil war that has killed over 100,000 to date. The rebels as well as the U.S., Britain and France accuse President Bashar Assad’s regime of carrying out chemical attacks while the Syrian government alongside Russia blame the opposition. The 20-member U.N. delegation, led by Swedish chemical weapons expert Ake Sellstrom, will investigate three purported sites of chemical attacks. Syria is widely believed to have one of the world’s largest caches of chemical weapons.
In June, the U.S. stated it had determinative evidence of employment of chemical weapons by President Bashar Assad’s regime on opposition forces. A spokesman for the Western-backed Syrian opposition’s military wing, Loay al-Mikdad, welcomed the U.N. investigations but expressed doubts saying, “We’re absolutely sure that this regime that has done everything from changing signs with the names of areas to fabricating evidence with past delegations will do the same with this one. Therefore, we doubt they will be able to uncover truthful results.”