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UN Inspectors Wrap Up Visit to Syria

UN inspectors finish collecting samples from the site of the alleged chemical weapons attack, will leave Syria on Saturday.
By Elad Benari, Canada
First Publish: 8/30/2013, 9:43 PM

UN Chemical weapons experts inspecting site of attack in Syria
UN Chemical weapons experts inspecting site of attack in Syria
Reuters

United Nations inspectors have finished collecting samples from the site of the alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria on August 21, the Associated Press reported on Friday.

UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said that the team is "now packing up" and preparing to leave for The Hague on Saturday, where its members will take samples to several laboratories in Europe.

Nesirky said the UN team also visited a government military hospital in Damascus on Friday, to look into separate allegations by the Syrian government that dozens of its soldiers were victims of a chemical attack.

The comments came as Washington and France seem to be preparing for a military strike on the Assad regime, which they blame for the purported attack.

French President Francois Hollande gave a boost on Friday to U.S. hopes of forging an international coalition for possible strikes against Syria after British lawmakers rejected any involvement in military action.    

Hollande said the British vote would not affect his government's stance.    

"France wants firm and proportionate action against the Damascus regime," he said in an interview with Le Monde newspaper, hinting an attack was possible by Wednesday.

In a live statement about Syria on Friday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry accused Assad of killing 1,400 people, including at least 400 children, in the strike last week.

Kerry, who called Assad “a thug and a murderer”, said that U.S. intelligence had concluded that the Syrian regime was behind the attack and urged the world to take punitive action.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)