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March 20, 2013

US Investigating Chemical Weapons Reported in Syria

by VOA News

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States will thoroughly investigate reports of chemical weapons use in Syria.

Speaking in Jerusalem Wednesday, Obama said any use of chemical weapons would be a "tragic mistake," adding that the administration was "deeply skeptical" of claims that rebel forces used them.

Earlier, the U.S. ambassador to Syria told the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee that the United States has no evidence to support charges chemical weapons were used this week in northern Syria.

In New York, the U.S. joined Britain and France in calling on the United Nations to investigate the allegations.  

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad claims that rebels used chemical weapons near Aleppo, while the rebels say Assad forces were responsible.

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​​The Assad government has already asked United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to investigate the alleged use of chemical weapons.  The Syrian opposition also wants an independent investigation.

In London, British Prime Minister David Cameron told parliament reports of a chemical attack in Syria strengthened the case for relaxing a European Union arms embargo on the country.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.