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UN Experts To Probe Syrian Chemical Weapons Claims

Ake Sellstrom

Ake Sellstrom

A team of UN experts are due to begin their probe into whether chemical weapons have been used in Syria.

The team, led by Swedish chemical weapons expert Ake Sellstrom, arrived in Damascus on August 18.

The investigators are expected to visit three sites, including a village near the northern city of Aleppo.

Ahead of the experts' arrival, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad told the Associated Press that the government will offer the UN inspectors its full assistance.

A spokesman for the Western-backed Syrian opposition's military wing, Loay al-Mikdad, also welcomed the UN mission but was skeptical about how successful the probe would be.

UN Mideast envoy Robert Serry told the Security Council last month that the UN has received 13 reports of alleged chemical weapons use in Syria.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters