Iraq News

UN seeks security for Syria gas attacks investigators

The UN is working to obtain security assurances needed to dispatch an international team of experts to the site of last month's suspected sarin gas attack in Syria, AFP reported Tuesday (May 23rd).

At least 88 people died in the April 4th attack in Khan Sheikhun, Idlib province.

UN disarmament chief Izumi Nakamitsu told the Security Council that planning for the fact-finding mission to Khan Sheikhun was "already under way”, but no date has been set.

The team from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) would deploy to an area under opposition control to collect samples and testimony from witnesses, she said.

Nakamitsu said she was working to "help ensure that any visit to the site by the fact-finding mission team will be accompanied by the most stringent security assurances".

Samples taken from victims, wounded patients and dead animals from Khan Sheikhun have tested positive for sarin or a sarin-like substance, the OPCW has told the council.

Samples were taken from three victims during autopsies, 10 individuals who were treated at hospital, two birds that were contaminated as well as soil and vegetation, the UN body said in a report to the council.

OPCW director general Ahmet Uzumcu last month said the "incontrovertible" test results showed sarin or a similar substance had been used.

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