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Syria crisis: Weapons inspectors visit site of alleged chemical attack


UN weapons inspectors have restarted their investigation into last week’s alleged chemical attack in Damascus. Accompanied by armed rebels, UN inspectors visited the suburbs of Jobar and Zamalka, “taking samples and interviewing the victims”, Dr Ghazzan Bwadani, who treated many of those affected, told The Independent.

The Syrian deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad today blamed the West for the attacks. “We repeat that the terrorist groups are the ones that used [chemical weapons] with the help of the US, the UK and France,” he said. “This means these chemical weapons will soon be used by the same groups against the people of Europe,” he added.

President Bashar al-Assad appears to have evacuated most personnel from army and security headquarters in Damascus, while residents said trucks have been seen at military buildings, apparently transporting documents and light weapons. The United Nations High Commission on Refugees said Syria stood on the brink of an “abyss” and called on its neighbours to keep their borders open.