UN inspectors who investigated the August 21 chemical weapons attack in Syria say that suspicious individuals have traveled to the attack sites before the UN team. On Monday, the inspectors reported that chemical weapons had been deployed “on a relatively large scale” in the Syria conflict. The report, which was presented to the UN Security Council by chief UN chemical weapons investigator Ake Sellstrom, said there was "clear and convincing evidence that surface-to-surface rockets containing the nerve agent sarin were used in Ein Tarma, Moadamiyah and Amalaka in the Ghouta area of Damascus."
The team reported that while it was at the Ghouta attack site, "individuals arrived carrying other suspected munitions, indicating that such potential evidence is being moved and possibly manipulated."The report did not elaborate on who the individuals were; however, the areas were under the control of foreign-backed militants. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the use of chemical weapons in Syria as "a war crime" and demanded the perpetrators of the deadly attack be brought to justice. The UN report on the attack confirmed "unequivocally and objectively" that chemical weapons were used, the UN chief said in a briefing to the UN Security Council on Monday. “The report makes for chilling reading,” Ban told a news conference after he delivered the report to the Security Council. The UN team's mandate did not include assigning blame for the attack. Hundreds of people were killed and scores of others were injured in the chemical attack which took place in the suburbs of Damascus. The militants operating inside Syria and the foreign-backed Syrian opposition claimed that the deadly attack was carried out by the army. Damascus, however, has strongly denied the accusation, saying it was a false-flag operation carried out by Takfiri groups in a bid to draw in foreign military intervention. Following the chemical attack, the US called for punitive military action against Damascus. The Syrian government averted possible US aggression by accepting a Russian plan to put its chemical arsenal under international control and then have them destroyed. MN/AB/AS