March 21, 2013 - 18:41 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday, March 21 announced that the United Nations will launch an investigation as requested by the Syrian government into allegations that chemical weapons were used in Syria, Reuters reported.
"I have decided to conduct a United Nations investigation into the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria," Ban told reporters. He said the investigation will focus on "the specific incident brought to my attention by the Syrian government."
Syria asked Ban on Wednesday to investigate an alleged chemical weapons attack by "terrorist groups" near the northern city of Aleppo on Tuesday, Syrian UN Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari said.
The deaths of 26 people in a rocket attack on the northern town of Aleppo on Tuesday have become the focus of a propaganda war between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's supporters and opponents, who accuse each other of firing a missile laden with chemicals.
The Syrian opposition said on Wednesday that there was a second chemical weapons attack on Tuesday in Damascus in addition to the one the government and opposition accuse each other of carrying out in Aleppo on the same day.
British and French UN envoys said after a closed-door meeting of the Security Council on Wednesday that they wanted the United Nations to investigate both the alleged attacks. Russia said the Western request was an attempt to delay a UN investigation, an accusation the Europeans rejected.
Ban made clear that the focus of the investigation he announced would be the Aleppo attack.