UN chemical experts arrive in Damascus

N inspectors arrived in the Syrian capital on Sunday, on a mission to investigate the alleged use of chemical weapons, as Syria’s government vowed to fully cooperate with them.

Syrian plainclothes security men whisked away the 20-member team, led by Swedish chemical weapons expert Ake Sellstrom, from a crush of waiting reporters and cameramen as they arrived at their five-star hotel in the heart of Damascus.

Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said before their arrival that Syria will “fully cooperate” with the team.

“I assure you, on behalf of the Syrian Arab Republic, that we will fully cooperate with this team and provide it will all information we have and all facilities to reach a rational conclusion,” he said.

“Our basic target is for this team to find facts on ground, especially about what happened in (the Aleppo suburb of) Khan al-Assal, because we, as a government, do not know about any other cases other than the case where chemical weapons were used by terrorists there,” he said.

Syria’s government refers to rebels fighting its rule as terrorists.

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