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Syria: Angela Kane arrives in Damascus for chemical probe00:48

Syria: Angela Kane arrives in Damascus for chemical probe

Syrian Arab Republic, Damascus
August 24, 2013 at 09:25 GMT +00:00 · Published

Syria: Angela Kane arrives in Damascus for chemical probe

United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Angela Kane, flew in to Damascus on Saturday for talks aimed at securing a UN inquiry into alleged use of chemical weapons.

Kane is expected to push for swift access for a team of UN experts to the site of the alleged attack in Ghouta. The incident reportedly left hundreds of civilians dead and injured on Wednesday. The UN team was already in Syria investigating allegations that chemical weapons were used in March, alongside other allegations reported by Member States.

US President Barack Obama had previously stated that the use of chemical weapons in Syria would cross a "red line" and that "enormous consequences" would result. Speaking Friday, US Foreign Secretary Chuck Hagel told reporters that the Defense Department has the responsibility to provide the president with options. This, he said, includes "positioning our forces, positioning our assets, to be able to carry out different options."

Russia's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Alexander Lukashevich issued a statement Friday in which he said there was mounting evidence that the attack was a "framed set-up." He urged Syria to cooperate with UN attempts to investigate the incident.

Syria: Angela Kane arrives in Damascus for chemical probe00:48
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Syria: Angela Kane arrives in Damascus for chemical probe

United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Angela Kane, flew in to Damascus on Saturday for talks aimed at securing a UN inquiry into alleged use of chemical weapons.

Kane is expected to push for swift access for a team of UN experts to the site of the alleged attack in Ghouta. The incident reportedly left hundreds of civilians dead and injured on Wednesday. The UN team was already in Syria investigating allegations that chemical weapons were used in March, alongside other allegations reported by Member States.

US President Barack Obama had previously stated that the use of chemical weapons in Syria would cross a "red line" and that "enormous consequences" would result. Speaking Friday, US Foreign Secretary Chuck Hagel told reporters that the Defense Department has the responsibility to provide the president with options. This, he said, includes "positioning our forces, positioning our assets, to be able to carry out different options."

Russia's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Alexander Lukashevich issued a statement Friday in which he said there was mounting evidence that the attack was a "framed set-up." He urged Syria to cooperate with UN attempts to investigate the incident.

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