UN team heads to army hospital on last day in Syria
AFPDAMASCUS -- U.N. inspectors investigating apparent deadly poisonous gas attacks in Syria headed to a military hospital on Friday on the last day of their probe, a security official said.
August 31, 2013, 12:03 am TWN
The official told AFP they were going to the hospital in the Mazzeh district of the Syrian capital, where victims of gas attacks are reportedly being treated.
The team of U.N. experts has this week been investigating the chemical gas attacks that reportedly took place in the suburbs of Damascus on Aug. 21, and that the Syrian opposition says killed hundreds.
The inspectors left their hotel in U.N.-marked cars, accompanied by several vehicles belonging to Syrian forces, an AFP journalist reported.
Syrian authorities accuse rebels of having used poison gas on Aug. 24 in Jobar, another Damascus neighborhood, to push back an army offensive.
State television said some soldiers had been asphyxiated and showed images of barrels that authorities reportedly found in the area containing “very dangerous toxic and chemical materials.”
Western governments have blamed President Bashar al-Assad's regime for the alleged Aug. 21 attack, but the Syrian government has strenuously denied being responsible.
If confirmed, it would be the deadliest use of chemical weapons since Saddam Hussein gassed Iraqi Kurds in 1988.
The U.N. inspectors are due to leave Syria by Saturday morning, and will report straight back to U.N. head Ban Ki-moon.