A U.N. team investigating an alleged chemical attack that killed hundreds last month in a Damascus suburb, leaves their hotel in a convoy, in Damascus, Syria.
(USA TODAY) -- A vehicle used by U.N. chemical weapons investigators was shot
at Monday by snipers, a spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
There were no reported injuries.
Nesirky, the U.N. spokesperson, says the shooting took place in the
buffer zone area between rebel- and government-controlled territory.
first vehicle of the Chemical Weapons Investigation Team was
deliberately shot at multiple times by unidentified snipers in the
buffer zone area," the spokespeson said.
"As the car was no longer serviceable, the team returned safely back to the government checkpoint," the spokesperson said.
The 8-vehicle convoy included six vehicles carrying the U.N. experts, one with security forces and one ambulance.
He said the team will return to the area after replacing the vehicle.
has to be stressed again that all sides need to extend their
cooperation so that the Team can safely carry out their important work,"
the spokesperson said.
Syria agreed Sunday to allow aU.N. investigation into the alleged chemical weapons attack last week
in the suburbs of Damascus that killed hundreds. The White House
official said the offer comes too late.
The White House has
concluded that there is "very little doubt" that the Syrian regime used
chemical weapons in the attack, increasing the chances of a U.S.
The chemical weapons assessment is based on a
variety of evidence and represents a broad consensus, according to a
statement from a senior administration official.
The official requested anonymity; deliberations are ongoing and no decision has been reached about what to do.
Obama was presented with a range of military options as he huddled with
his national security team on Saturday to discuss Syria.
analysts say the likeliest option would be a punitive strike designed
to send a message to the regime of Bashar Assad but that would not be
designed to decapitate the regime or dramatically alter the course of
the civil war raging there.
"Behavior modification would be the
main objective rather than decisively shifting the situation on the
ground or removing the regime," said Jeffrey White, an analyst at the
Washington Institute for Near East Policy and a former Defense
Intelligence Agency official.
Administration officials have been
wary of any military intervention that would draw the United States into
a lengthy commitment, and they have also expressed concerns that the
collapse of the regime might lead to a failed state or the emergence of