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UN experts to return to Syria soon: chief weapons inspector

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

UN chemical weapons inspectors will return to Syria soon to investigate various accusations against the regime and opposition, their chief told AFP on Wednesday.

"Yes we will be returning to Syria. Our planning isn't finished yet, so I can't say when we will be going, but it will be soon," UN chief inspector Aake Sellstroem said.

His team, which went to Syria last month, concluded in a report presented on September 16 that banned chemical weapons were used on a wide scale in the Syria war.

There was clear evidence sarin gas killed hundreds of people in an attack on Ghouta near Damascus on August 21, the report said.

"The report that was presented was an interim report," Sellstroem said.

"There have been other accusations presented to the UN secretary general, dating back to March, against both sides" in the conflict, he said.

There were "13, 14 accusations" that "have to be investigated," he added.

Sellstroem said the weapons inspectors would not be addressing the question of who was responsible for the August 21 gas attack, in which the United States claims more than 1,400 people died.

"That's not our assignment," Sellstroem said.

He said the weapons inspectors travel plans should "firm up within a week."

He hoped to be able to present a final report addressing all of the accusations "possibly by the end of October."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130918/un-experts-return-syria-soon-chief-weapons-inspector