Syria approves U.N. appointment of scientist to study chemical weapons allegation

A U.N. appointment of a Swedish scientist who will probe chemical weapons allegations in Syria was recently approved by the Syrian government.

An Al Arabiya correspondent, quoting officials sources, said that the U.N. investigation team is expected to arrive in Syria by next week with inspection areas to include Homs, Otaiba and Khan al-Assal, Al Arabiya reports.

The investigation is expected to be technical and not criminal and is tasked with discovering if chemical weapons were used and not who used them.

The Syrian government and opposition forces have bother accused the other of using chemical weapons.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that the investigation will focus on the Aleppo incident that left 26 people dead but left the possibility open that the investigation may be broadened.

Ban appointed Swedish professor Ake Sellstrom on Tuesday to head the investigation. Sellstrom served as a U.N. chemical weapons inspector in Iraq and who now works at a research institute dealing with chemical incidents to head the U.N.'s investigation.

According to U.N. Spokesman Martin Nesirky, Sellstrom is "an accomplished scientist with a solid background in disarmament and international security," according to Al Arabiya.

Sellstrom previously served as the chief inspector for UNSCOM, the U.N.'s inspection team that investigated and dismantled Iraq's biological and chemical weapons programs in the 1990s.