West 'threatening Syria solution'

The Russian Ambassador to the UK has accused the West of "deliberately undermining chances for a political solution in Syria" by pushing for military action. The US has said Syria must be held accountable for its "heinous" chemical weapons attack.

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Dad reunited with son he thought died in 'Syria attack'

A video posted online appears to show the moment a Syrian father is reunited with his young son who he had feared was killed in last week's alleged chemical attack in Damascus.

ITV News cannot independently verify this video:

The man is overcome with emotion as he is led through a corridor to where his son is waiting for him, where he falls to his knees and weeps as the boy is put in to his arms.

Later in the video the boy and his father sit on a couch and embrace and he tells the boy: ”Don’t cry my son, I am next to you now...thank God, thank God you are alive.”

4-day-old baby among Syrian refugees in boat rescue

Italy's coast guard and navy rescued about 350 people, mostly Syrians, off the coast of southeastern Sicily and a port official said he expected more refugees fleeing Syria's civil war to arrive.

Among those rescued were 48 children, including a four-day-old girl born during the crossing.

Italian coastguard released images of one of the rescues.

The navy recovered almost 200 people from two boats believed to be Syrians, but most were not carrying passports, so their nationality has yet to be confirmed.


UN team under heavy guard in Damascus inspection

UN weapons inspectors have been continuing to collect samples and interview witnesses and victims following last week's alleged chemical attack near Damascus.

Ban Ki-moon has urged the international community to let the inspection team "do their job" before deciding whether or not to pursue potential military action against the Assad regime.

The UN convoy has been heavily guarded as it is drives through Damascus.

Syria envoy says military action requires UNSC backing

The UN envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, has said international law is clear that a collective UN Security Council decision is needed for military action to be carried out.

Speaking in Geneva, Mr Brahimi also said evidence suggests some chemical "substance" was used near Damascus, claiming the lives of hundreds.

His comments came as the German foreign minister urged all members of the council, especially Russia, to back Britain's draft resolution on Syria.

Russian Ambassador: West undermining Syria solution

The Russian Ambassador to the UK, Alexander Yakovenko, has accused western countries of "deliberately undermining chances for a political solution in Syria" by pushing for military action against the Assad regime.

He tweeted within minutes of Prime Minister David Cameron announcing Britain would present plans for "necessary measures to protect (Syrian) civilians" to the UN Security Council.

Inspectors reach sites as Ban Ki-moon urges caution

UN chemical weapons expert are gathering evidence at sites of the alleged poison gas attack. Credit: Reuters/Ahmad Alshami

A team of United Nations inspectors has reached rebel-held territory outside Damascus as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon cautioned against pre-empting the chemicals investigation.

Activists confirmed the inspectors had reached the town of Maleiha and were being escorted to towns where deadly gas strikes are alleged to have happened.

Ban's message came as leaders in the west plotted taking military action against the Assad regime over the alleged attacks.

"It is essential to establish the facts," he said from the Hague. "A UN investigation team is now on the ground to do just that. Just days after the attack, they have collected valuable samples and interviewed victims and witnesses. The team needs time to do its job."


Rebels: Heavy military strikes could force Assad out

The commander of the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) has told NBC News there is a "very good chance" the Assad regime will fall if western forces pursue heavy military strikes on "strategic targets" in Damascus.

General Salim Idris warned "limited strikes" would not harm the Assad regime, which he said was "still powerful", but claimed any international action would make the situation in the country "better not worse" amid fears outsiders could become permanently embroiled in the civil war.

He told NBC he believed the Syrian president had personally ordered the use of chemical weapons in revenge for an attack on his personal convoy earlier this month and because the FSA had strengthened its own arms.

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