"The whole process will be done strictly adhering to the highest established standards of verification recognized by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)," Martin Nesirky said after a telephone call between Ban and Dr Ake Sellstrom, the head of the inspection team.

Ban asked Sellstrom to expedite the mission's analysis of the samples and information it had obtained without jeopardizing the scientific timelines required for accurate analysis and to report the results to him as soon as possible.

He reiterated that the UN mission is "uniquely capable of establishing, in an impartial and credible manner, the facts of any use of chemical weapons based directly on evidence collected on the ground."

Syrian opposition and the West have accused President Bashar Al-Assad's forces of using chemical weapons on August 21 in a Damascus suburb, a charge denied by the government. US Secretary of State John Kerry has said blood and hair samples collected from the chemical attack site in Syria have "tested positive for signatures of sarin gas".

He pushed for a military strike against the Assad regime over its alleged use of the deadly weapon.


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