Syria refuses to admit U.N. chemical weapons inspection team

The Assad regime in Syria refused to adhere to a planned chemical weapons inspection by a United Nations team on Monday, accusing the U.N. of broadening its original mandate.

Assad's government originally asked the U.N .to inspect an area near Aleppo after opposing forces were accused of having used chemical agents. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told The Hague on Monday that an inspection team of fifteen U.N. troops was sent to Cyprus in response to the request, waiting for Assad's call, reports.

"All we were waiting for is the go-ahead from the Syrian government to determine whether any chemical weapons were used, in any location," Ban said, according to

Late Monday night, however, Syrian news organization SANA released information that indicated the U.N. inspection team would not be allowed into the country. It is speculated that the Assad regime may have thought the U.N. would also investigate accusations that Syria used chemical weapons in Homs in December and near Damascus in March.

In November, U.S. President Barack Obama was reported to have warned President Assad that the use of chemical weapons would draw a "red line" in their affairs. There is broad international concern that given present circumstances, Syria's stockpiles of chemical weapons could end up in the hands of dangerous groups, such as Hezbollah, reports.

"The use of chemical weapons by any side, under any circumstances, would constitute an outrageous crime with dire consequences and constitute a crime against humanity," Ban said, according to