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Syrian Opposition Offers U.N. Chemical Inspectors Open Access
Syrian opposition leaders on Friday said U.N. inspectors would be free to move about in all areas under opposition control and would have the full cooperation of the Syrian National Coalition in order to investigate the alleged use of chemical weapons during the ongoing civil war, Agence France-Presse reported.
Opposition leaders requested that inspectors first go to the town of Khan al-Assal on the outskirts of Aleppo to investigate a reported chemical weapon attack from March.
Khan al-Assal was initially the only location to which U.N. inspectors had been invited by the Syrian government, which claims that rebels were responsible for an attack involving sarin gas that killed 26 people. By contrast, opposition forces assert that the government was responsible for the attack. The town is now among three locations that President Bashar Assad's regime has agreed to let inspectors investigate.
The United Nations says it has received 13 reports of suspected chemical weapons use over the course of the conflict.
The team of inspectors reached an agreement last week with the Syrian government to enter the country and will begin its inspections as early as this week. The investigators will not attempt to determine which side used the alleged chemical weapons, only whether or not chemical weapons were used, according to the wire service.
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This article provides an overview of Syria's historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.