UNSC to hold urgent meeting on Syria chemical weapons claims

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 The UN Security Council is scheduled to hold an emergency meeting on the alleged use of chemical weapons near the Syrian capital, Damascus.
According to a UN statement, the council will meet at 3 p.m. EDT (19:00 GMT) Wednesday.

Security Council members France, UK, US, Luxembourg and South Korea requested the meeting, which is to be held in the form of closed-door consultations, a diplomat said.

The UN has also said that head of the UN chemical weapons inspector, Ake Sellstrom, is in discussions with the Syrian government over the alleged chemical attack and that he is following the situation carefully.

On Wednesday, Syria’s opposition claimed that hundreds were killed in a government chemical attack on militant strongholds in Damascus suburbs of Ain Tarma, Zamalka and Jobar before dawn.

Head of the so-called opposition Syrian National Coalition, George Sabra, told reporters in Istanbul that more than 1,300 people were killed in the alleged attack.

Videos posted online by opposition activists show lifeless bodies, mostly with no visible signs of injury. Press TV, however, could not independently verify where or when the videos were recorded.

The Syrian army has vehemently denied allegations that it used chemical weapons against Takfiri militants in the suburbs of the Ghouta region, saying the accusations were fabricated to distract the visiting team of the UN chemical weapons experts and to cover up militants losses.

Russia has called allegations of the chemical attack by the Syrian army, which coincided with the visit to Syria by a 20-member UN chemical weapons team, as a “premeditated provocation.”

The UN investigators are staying at a hotel just a few kilometers away from the site of the attack. They arrived in Syria on Sunday.

In March, dozens of people were killed in a chemical attack in the northern province of Aleppo. A Russian-led inquiry said that militants were behind the deadly attack.

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