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UN Heads to Syria to Hunt Chemical Weapons

Officials to investigate weapons' use, but not who to blame
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2013 3:03 AM CDT
Updated Aug 15, 2013 6:37 AM CDT
UN: Chemical Weapons Probe Headed to Syria
This Saturday, July 27, 2013 photo shows the Khalid Ibn al-Walid Mosque in the heavily disputed northern neighborhood of Khaldiyeh, in Homs, Syria.   (AP Photo/SANA)

(Newser) – Following approval by Bashar al-Assad, a UN team is headed to Syria to investigate whether chemical weapons are being used in the country. "The departure of the team is now imminent," says a statement from secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon. Inspectors will remain in Syria "for a period of up to 14 days, extendable upon mutual consent" with its leaders. The probe aims to determine if the weapons have been used without seeking to identify a perpetrator. Just one of three inspection sites is known: Khan al-Assal, in Aleppo, Reuters reports. The investigation follows 13 reports to the UN of chemical weapons use, including one from the Syrian government itself. (Read more United Nations stories.)

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