BY | August 21, 2013

WASHINGTON: Chemical weapons kill 1300 people by Bashar al Asad’s army in Syria. The United States voiced its deep concern on Wednesday over reports of Syrian government forces use of chemical weapons against civilians, calling on the Syrian government to provide “immediate access” to the site.

“The U.S. is deeply concerned by reports that hundreds of Syrian civilians have been killed in an attack by Syrian government forces, including by the use of chemical weapons, near Damascus earlier today,” Josh Earnest, White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary, said in a statement.

He affirmed that “we are working urgently to gather additional information, ” pointing out, “today; we are formally requesting that the United Nations urgently investigate this new allegation.” Also, Earnest indicated the UN investigative team, which is currently in Syria, “must have immediate access to witnesses and affected individuals, and have the ability to examine and collect physical evidence without any interference or manipulation from the Syrian government.” “If the Syrian government has nothing to hide and is truly committed to an impartial and credible investigation of chemical weapons use in Syria, it will facilitate the UN team’s immediate and unfettered access to this site,” he added.

In addition, Earnest affirmed that his country’s government has also called for urgent consultations in the UN Security Council to discuss these allegations and to call for the Syrian government to provide immediate access to the UN investigative team.

“The United States urges all Syrian parties including the government and opposition, to provide immediate access to any and all sites of importance to the investigation and to ensure security for the UN investigative team,” he stressed.

Earnest reiterated that the U.S. “strongly condemns any and all use of chemical weapons,” asserting at the same time that those responsible for the use of chemical weapons must be held accountable.

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