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U.N. to investigate use of chemical weapons in Syria

July 31, 2013 at 5:01 PM

UNITED NATIONS, July 31 (UPI) -- The United Nations announced Wednesday its investigators will visit Syria "as soon as possible" to probe allegations of chemical weapons use.

The U.N. disarmament chief and the head of Syria's United Nations mission met with Syrian officials last week and reached an agreement to inspect three sites. Investigators have been blocked from independently verifying conflicting reports, by government forces and by rebels seeking an overthrow, of chemical weapons use, the Washington newspaper The Hill reported.

One site to be checked is Khan al-Asai, a suburb of Aleppo, where the United States says government forces used sarin gas against rebels in March. Russia has countered it was the rebels who used chemical weapons there, the newspaper said.

"The mission will travel to Syria as soon as possible to contemporaneously investigate three of the reported incidents," the U.N. statement said.

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