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United Nations inspectors to visit chemical weapons sites in Syria

UN sending inspectors inside Syria 'as soon as possible' to probe reports of chemical weapons attacks at 3 sites.

Syria soldier 07 31 2013Enlarge
A Syrian government soldier eats on July 31, 2013, in the al-Khalidiyah district of Homs. The Syrian government announced the capture of al-Khalidiyah, a key rebel district in Homs, Syria's third city and a symbol of the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad. (JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images)

The United Nations is sending inspectors into Syria to determine the extent of reported chemical weapons attacks, the organization announced on Wednesday.

Inspectors are headed there “as soon as possible” after talks last week between the government and the UN’s representative for disarmament affairs.

“On the basis of the information evaluated by the mission to date and further to the understanding reached with the government of Syria, the mission will travel to Syria as soon as possible to contemporaneously investigate three of the reported incidents, including Khan al-Asal,” a UN statement issued on Wednesday said.

“The Secretary-General remains mindful of other reported incidents and the mission will also continue to seek clarification from the member states concerned.”

Khan al-Asal has been the site of intense fighting between rebels and government forces defending President Bashar Assad, Al Jazeera reported.

Each side blames the other for a reported chemical weapons attack there that killed 30.

Fighting continued on Wednesday, with Al Jazeera reporting government forces lost 150 troops (including 50 captured soldiers later executed) over two days of bloodshed.

Rebels captured Khan al-Asal on July 22.

The Syrian civil war has killed more than 100,000 and displaced millions, according to CNN.

More from GlobalPost: The horrific chemical weapons attack that probably wasn’t

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/syria/130731/united-nations-insepctors-visit-chemical-weapons-site