Snipers Fire On U.N. Inspectors In Syria

A U.N. team, which is scheduled to investigate an alleged chemical attack that killed hundreds last week in a Damascus suburb, left its hotel on Monday. Associated Press

United Nations inspectors investigating the alleged use of chemical weapons in Damascus came under fire Monday, a U.N. spokesman said.

According to a statement released by the U.N., a vehicle was “deliberately shot at multiple times” in the buffer zone area between rebel- and government-controlled territory. There were no injuries, though the car was no longer serviceable.

“The team will return to the area after replacing the vehicle,” the statement said.

The spokesman added: “It has to be stressed again that all sides need to extend their cooperation so that the team can safely carry out their important work.”

The team was trying to visit one of the sites of an Aug 21. attack. Doctors and opposition activists have said that nerve agents killed hundreds of civilians in several outlying districts of the Syrian capital. Syria agreed on Sunday to allow the inspectors to visit the sites.

The New York Times reported a senior Obama administration official issued a statement Sunday saying that “based on the reported number of victims, reported symptoms of those who were killed or injured, witness accounts and other facts gathered by open sources, the U.S. intelligence community, and international partners, there is very little doubt at this point that a chemical weapon was used by the Syrian regime against civilians in this incident.”

The Times said the official’s statement was released on the condition that the official not be named.

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