The UN Fact Finding Mission in Syria

The UN fact-finding mission on the use of chemical weapons began, Monday, August 26, the inspection sites of alleged attack with chemical weapons near Damascus. The attack Wednesday, August 21, in neighborhoods of eastern and western Ghouta, agricultural plain on the outskirts of the Syrian capital, would have more than 1,700 dead, according to the Syrian opposition.

Having acquired the near certainty that the chemical weapon attacks have taken place that day, the international community - Washington, Paris and London had called for a UN investigation on these sites. Syria finally gave the green light to UN inspectors Sunday

The fact-finding mission of the UN, led by the Swedish scientist Aake Sellström and composed of ten inspectors arrived in Damascus on August 18. In late July, after long and difficult negotiations, the UN and to Syria agreed on a fact-finding mission for fourteen days for suspected attacks with chemical weapons since the beginning of the conflict, in March 2011. Of the thirteen reported attacks by Syria, France, Britain and the United States, the UN experts were allowed to investigate three sites.

The first is Khan Al-Assal, near the city of Aleppo, Damascus says that the rebels had used chemical weapons on March 19, killing at least 26 people, including 16 Syrian soldiers. According to the opposition, the government of Bashar al-Assad, staged the attack. The other two sites visited by investigators will Ataybah, near Damascus, where an attack with chemical weapons was reported in March, Homs, for a suspicious attack December 23, 2012.

Damascus also agreed that the UN inspectors could visit the sites of suspected chemical atacks on August 21. A UN envoy, the UN High Representative for Disarmament, Angela Kane, was received Sunday morning by the head of the Syrian Foreign Ministry Walid Al-Moualem. The minister "emphasized the willingness of Syria to cooperate with a team of investigators to show the falsity of the allegations of terrorist groups, according to which Syrian troops have used chemical weapons in Damascus."

According to Fahad Al-Masri, a spokesman for the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in Paris, ASL Damascus has identified 1,729 deaths and 6,000 people with respiratory problems after Wednesday's attack. Doctors Without Borders reported Saturday 3600 patients "presenting neurotoxic symptoms" arrived in less than three hours Wednesday morning, three hospitals in the Damascus area, including 355 who died without being able to "scientifically confirm the cause of these symptoms ". Based on the medical reports, the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights (OSDH) has recorded more than 300 deaths by poison gas, including dozens of rebels.

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