The United Nations says its chemical weapons inspectors are " completing their preparations " to travel to Syria to probe allegations of banned arms use during the Arab country’s 28 - month - long conflict.
Martin Nesirky, the spokesman for UN Secretary General Ban Ki - moon, said on Tuesday that " It is anticipated that these preparations will be completed within the next days, following which the date of the mission in Syria will be announced. " Reports say the UN team will probe three sites in which chemical weapons are allegedly used. Khan al - Assal, located near the northern city of Aleppo, is the first site on the UN list. The Syrian government reported a chemical attack carried out by foreign - backed militants in this region on March 19 that killed 26 people. The UN however has not named the other two sites for security reasons.
The UN was meanwhile " working to finalize the legal and logistical modalities for the investigations on the basis of the agreement reached last month with Syria, " the UN spokesman said.
The accord was reached during a visit to Damascus by two UN envoys - the head of a UN chemical weapons investigation team, Ake Sellstrom, and the head of the UN Office of Disarmament Affairs, Angela Kane. The Syrian government and foreign-backed militants fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad accuse each other of using chemical weapons. A Russian-led inquiry recently revealed that militants have carried out a chemical attack in Khan al-Assal in March. On May 6, UN investigator, Carla del Ponte, said testimony from victims of the conflict in Syria suggests that militants have used the nerve agent, sarin. Sarin is a colorless and highly toxic nerve agent that can cause convulsions, paralysis and death within minutes if it is absorbed through inhalation, ingestion, or contact with skin or eyes. Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions of others displaced in the violence.