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      UN Inspectors to Return to Syria

      United Nations investigators are planning to return to Syria to follow up on more allegations of chemical weapons use.
      By Elad Benari, Canada
      First Publish: 9/18/2013, 8:17 PM

      Ake Sellstrom stands outside a military hospital in Damascus
      Ake Sellstrom stands outside a military hospital in Damascus
      Reuters

      United Nations investigators are planning to return to Syria to follow up on more allegations of chemical weapons use, CNN reported Wednesday.

      Ake Sellstrom, the head of the inspection team that visited after an August 21 attack, told the network that the next visit could take place as early as next week.

      Sellstrom told The Associated Press the team will evaluate ‘‘allegations of chemical weapons use from both sides, but perhaps mainly from the Syrian government’s side.’’

      He said he does not currently think there is a need for more investigations of the August 21 attacks, but said ‘‘if we receive any additional information it will be included next time we report.’’

      He declined to specify where the inspectors would go or which specific events they would look more closely at.

      On Monday, the UN team submitted a report which confirmed the use of sarin nerve agent in an August 21 poison gas attack outside the Syrian capital. The United States, Britain and France said the long-awaited UN report proved beyond any doubt that Syrian government forces were responsible.

      Russia, however, has dismissed the report and said Wednesday it has received evidence of the use of chemical weapons by Syrian rebels.

      Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov called the UN report "politicized and one-sided." The report did not explicitly apportion blame for the attack, but Ryabov said that the inspectors only examined evidence of the August 21 attack, and ignored three previous incidents of alleged chemical weapons use.

      "This analysis is not finished, so the point here is not about accusing parties," Ryabkov told Russia Today. "But the point is ... that those inspectors of the UN should come back to Syria to complete their investigation."

      Russia will present the evidence that rebels used chemical weapons to the Security Council, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters in Valdai, Russia, on Wednesday.

      He did not say when the presentation would take place and added that he himself had not seen it.

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