Syria to Allow UN Inspection of 'Chemical Weapon' Attacks
UN inspectors will be allowed by the Syrian government to investigate allegations of a suspected chemical weapon attack near Damascus.
The decision came after mounting pressure since activists accused the government of staging a large scale attack on rebel-held areas on the outskirts of the capital, killing more than 300 people in several suburbs.
According to Syrian TV, cited by the Washington Post and the BBC, the UN team is to begin work on Monday.
State media have reported that chemical agents have been found in tunnels used by rebel fighters, and also that soldiers "suffered from cases of suffocation" when rebels used poison gas "as a last resort" after government forces made "big gains" in the suburb of Jobar.
Earlier, a senior US government official accused Damascus of intentionally delaying the UN probe "in order to facilitate the degradation of evidence of their use of chemical weapons."
The US official said the facts continued to be assessed so that President Barack Obama could "make an informed decision about how to respond to this indiscriminate use of chemical weapons".
On Saturday evening, Obama and UK Prime Minister David Cameron agreed that "significant use of chemical weapons would merit a serious response from the international community."
Syria's Information Minister, Omran Zoabi, warned that US military action in Syria would not be a "walk in the park."
"The military intervention in Syria has proved to be a weak case because Syria is still a strong state. It has institutions, an army," he added. "It has friends and allies in the region."
The Deputy Chief of Staff of Iran's Armed Forces, Gen Massoud Jazayeri, also warned that there would be "severe consequences" if the US crossed what he called a "red line" on Syria.
A year ago, Obama said that any attempt by Syria to use its chemical weapons would be a "red line" for the US, and change his administration's "calculus" in the region.
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Peter, it was "too late" from the very beginning of this sad story...but US "think-tanks" initial calculus that US various assistance to "rebels" would be enough to eliminate Assad turned to be wrong and now USA will be attaking
Assad themselves under any-even utmost absurd-pretext and with all their "spitting respect" to the International Law, to UN and to the world community...