Ban urges Syrian government to allow chemical weapons probe

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appealed to Syrian authorities on Tuesday to extend their fullest cooperation and allow a chemical weapons investigation to proceed.

"I regret that the Government of Syria has not yet agreed to the modalities I have proposed for the Mission to investigate the alleged use of chemical weapons at locations within Syria," Ban said.

The Syrian government has been in a deadly civil war for two years, and on March 20 asked for a "specialized, impartial and independent mission" to investigate the chemical warfare allegations.

Ban said he had received allegations of the use of chemical weapons on the Syrian territory from the government of Syria on March 20 and from the governments of the United Kingdom and France on March 21.

On April 8, Ban said all technical and logistical preparations were in place for the U.N. team, which is currently in Cyprus, to deploy into Syria. Ban said he has not received any official communication from Syria on the subject matter.

The probe will focus on the alleged incident at Khan al-Asal in March and the allegations of chemical weapon use in Homs last December.

"My mandate obliges me to examine any request from a Member State to conduct such an investigation," Ban said.