The fact-finding group was assembled in The Hague in early August. Swedish expert Ake Sellstrom, a former UN weapons inspector in Iraq, was asked by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to set up the group in March.

The team arrived in Syria at the request of the Syrian government on Aug 18 and inspected some locations in the countryside of the capital Damascus for the use of chemical weapons.

The team left Syria on Aug 30 to analyze initial findings after which they affirmed the use of nerve agent Sarin in the eastern Ghouta suburb of Damascus, which allegedly killed hundreds of people. The rebels and the Syrian government have been trading accusations over the responsibility for the attack.

UN officials had on Tuesday said that the team would return to complete its investigation. In a statement, the UN said that the investigation would include gathering evidence from an alleged chemical weapons attack March 19 in the town of Khan al-Assal in Syria's northern province of Aleppo, which was captured by the rebels in July.

The Syrian government accused the rebels of staging the Khan al-Assal attack and urged the UN to send an investigation team.

Damascus, in a bid to strip Washington of its pretext to launch a war, has announced that it would surrender its chemical weapons stockpiles to the international community and join the chemical weapons treaty which prohibits manufacturing, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons.


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