The U.N. chemical investigation team in Syria will start on-site fact-finding activities Monday in the Ghouta area on the latest incident of the alleged use of chemical weapons, said Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon in a statement through his spokesperson.

Chemical weapons in Syria a 'crime against humanity'



The Syrian government has agreed to provide the necessary cooperation for on-site investigation, including the observance of the cessation of hostilities at related locations of the chemical weapon incident.

Ban has instructed the investigation team, led by Swedish expert Ake Sellstrom, to focus its attention "on ascertaining the facts of the 21 August incident as its highest priority." He also stressed that "all relevant parties equally share the responsibility of cooperating in urgently generating a safe environment for the mission to do its job efficiently and providing all necessary information."

On Aug. 21, Syrian opposition claimed 1,300 people were killed in a government chemical weapons attack on militant strongholds in the suburbs of Damascus, the Syrian capital. The Syrian government denied the allegation.

The alleged chemical weapons attack took place just two days after a group of UN inspectors began an investigation into alleged use of chemical weapons used in the northern Khan al-Assal town and two other undisclosed locations.

UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Angela Kane met with Syrian government officials in Damascus Saturday and Sunday to seek agreement on the probe of the latest incident.

The UN team of inspectors was set up at the request of the Syrian government in March.

The Syrian civil war, which began in March 2011 between government forces and armed opposition seeking to oust President Bashar al-Assad, has led to killings of more than 93,000 people and forced more than 1.7 million people to flee the country.

 Source: Xinhuanet