Syrian opposition and France call on UN to immediately investigate reports of chemical attack near Damascus - VIDEO

Syrian opposition and France call on UN to immediately investigate reports of chemical attack near Damascus - <span style="color: red;">VIDEO
# 21 August 2013 14:27 (UTC +04:00)

"The secretary general said in a statement he was surprised this deplorable crime would happen during the visit of a team of international investigators with the United Nations who are already tasked with investigating chemical weapons use," the official news agency MENA said.

"He called on the inspectors to head immediately to the eastern Ghouta (suburb of Damascus) to determine what happened."

Britain said on Wednesday it would raise the reported chemical weapons attack by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad at the United Nations Security Council and called on Damascus to give UN inspectors access to the site.

"I am deeply concerned by reports that hundreds of people, including children, have been killed in airstrikes and a chemical weapons attack on rebel-held areas near Damascus," British Foreign Secretary William Hague said in a statement.

Hague said reports of the attack, which has been denied outright by the Syrian government, remained uncorroborated and that Britain was urgently seeking more information.

"But it is clear that if they are verified, it would mark a shocking escalation in the use of chemical weapons in Syria," he said, adding that Britain would try to hold to account anyone who used chemical weapons or ordered their use.

French President Francois Hollande called on United Nations inspectors to visit the site of the alleged chemical attack as well.

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