U.N. rights team believes chemical weapons used in Syria

Animal carcasses lie on the ground, killed by what residents said was a chemical weapon attack on Tuesday, in Khan al-Assal area near the northern city of Aleppo, March 23, 2013. REUTERS/George Ourfalian

United Nations human rights investigators said on Tuesday they had “reasonable grounds” to believe that limited amounts of chemical weapons had been used in Syria.

In their latest report, they said they had received allegations that Syrian government forces and rebels had used the banned weapons, but that most testimony related to their use by state forces.

The commission examined four reported toxic attacks in March and April but could not determine which side was behind them.

“There are reasonable grounds to believe that limited quantities of toxic chemicals were used. It has not been possible, on the evidence available, to determine the precise chemical agents used, their delivery systems or the perpetrator,” Paulo Pinheiro, who chairs the U.N. commission of inquiry, told a news conference in Geneva.

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