Published August 21, 2013
PARIS – The French president plans to ask the U.N. to visit the site of an alleged chemical weapons attack near Damascus.
Syrian opposition groups claimed at least 100 people died Wednesday in a government offensive near Damascus, attacks in which some activists say regime troops used "poisonous gas." The government denied the reports.
President Francois Hollande, speaking Wedensday at a regular Cabinet meeting, said the latest allegations "require verification and confirmation," said the government spokeswoman Najat Vallaud-Belkacem.
He would ask the UN to go to the site "to shed full light" on the allegations.
Swedish chemical weapons expert Ake Sellstrom, who is heading a U.N. team in Syria, says a formal request from a member state would have to come through the U.N. channels and Syria would need to agree.