UNSAFE PASSAGE: Rebels issued a statement on Monday assuring safe passage to the north Damascus area targeted in last week’s chemical attack shortly before UN chemical weapons investigators’ vehicle was deliberately shot at multiple times by unidentified snipers.
“The first vehicle of the Chemical Weapons Investigation Team was deliberately shot at multiple times by unidentified snipers in the buffer zone area,” the UN said in a statement.
“As the car was no longer serviceable, the team returned safely back to the government check-point,” the statement, adding “the team will return to the area after replacing the vehicle.”
The FSA said it would suspend fire while the investigators do their work in the east Damascus suburbs. “We announce the suspension of all hostilities on Monday, the 26th of August, during the International Commission’s visit,” said Captain Abulnasser Shmair, the military commander of the Revolutionary Council of Eastern Ghouta.
In the video, Shmair assures the inspectors that he will provide all facilities needed to assist them in the verification process.
State-run news agency SANA said that the “government holds the armed terrorist groups responsible for the security and safety of the UN team members and for preserving their lives and ensuring their safe return.”
The government’s account was directly contradicted by reports on the pro-rebel news website Sham News Network which claimed that group of specialists could not enter Moadhimiya “because Assad forces and pro-regime militias stationed at checkpoints in the eastern district opened gunfire” at the fact-finding team.