United Nations expresses concern over alleged chemical weapon use in Syria

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made a public announcement on Wednesday expressing his disapproval of alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria and his hope to gain approval to investigate.

A suburb of Damascus claimed the alleged use of chemical weapons on Wednesday. An investigational team of the U.N. arrived in Damascus this week. Ban told Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson during a meeting Wednesday he hopes the team gains approval to investigate the suburb.

"We see the need to investigate this as soon as possible; no matter what the conclusions, this represents a serious escalation with grave humanitarian and human consequences," Eliasson said. "What this incident has shown is that we must contain this conflict."

The President of the Security Council in August Ambassador Maria Cristina Perceval of Argentina said the council members are concerned and believe the U.N. must proceed carefully with regard to the dangers of the situation. The investigation team, led by Professor Åke Sellström, is currently stationed in Syria and is expected to spend two weeks in the country collecting and assessing samples found at the alleged sites of chemical weapon use.

"Professor Sellström is in discussions with the Syrian Government on all issues pertaining to the alleged use of chemical weapons, including this most recent reported incident," Eliasson said.

There are also alleged humanitarian crimes being committed on children near Damascus, elevating international concern for the situation in Syria.

"Such horrific acts should be a reminder to all the parties and all who have influence on them that this terrible conflict has gone on far too long and children have suffered more than enough," the U.N. said.