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People in Damascus stunned by Commons vote

by - Former International Editor

I do not think the news of the House of Commons vote has quite sunk in here in Syria.

It is Friday, traditionally a day off and a day of prayer, but I do think people - and the few I have talked to this morning - are stunned.

United Nations weapons inspectors are escorted through Damascus. Credit: REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh

There is a general expectation, almost across the Arab world, that whatever America does, Britain will be there. So I think this will definitely shock people.

I talked to one government official yesterday who was very, very interested in the British vote. She said she saw that 60 percent of people in the UK were against military action and this will certainly confirm that in her view.

I think there is little to celebrate in Damascus but I think the Assad regime will be very happy that Britain appears not to be joining in any military action.

UN inspectors continue probing 'chemical attack'

UN weapons inspectors have been investigating an alleged chemical attack in Damascus for a third day.

This video, which was uploaded to a social networking website, purports to show the inspectors in the suburb of Zamalka east of the city.

ITV News cannot independently verify this video at present.

Read: The rebel strongholds targeted by a 'chemical attack'

Watch: Ban Ki-moon: UN experts to leave Syria by Saturday

UN's Ban says Syria inspectors need four more days

UN inspectors need four days in Syria to conclude their investigation into last week's alleged chemical attack and analyse their findings, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said.

"They are working very hard, under very, very dangerous circumstances," Ban said. "Let them conclude their work for four days, and then we will have to analyse scientifically with experts and then I think we will have to report to the Security Council for any actions."

Pictures: UN inspectors meet attack victims near Damascus

UN inspectors meet attack victims near Damascus

UN weapons inspectors in Syria have met people wounded in last week's attack as they look for evidence that chemicals were used by the Assad regime.

Inspectors interviewed victims through translators at a medical centre in the Damascus suburb of Zamalka. Credit: RTV
Groups of young men waited in turn to speak to the UN teams. Credit: RTV

Read: UN team under heavy guard in Damascus inspection

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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.”

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."

Read: Cameron outlines 'necessary measures' against Assad regime

Assad regime 'blames chemical attack on rebels'

Humanitarian group Medecins Sans Frontieres has said there are strong indications that a chemical attack was carried out in Syria. It added that doctors had treated thousands of people suffering from neurotoxic symptoms.

The Assad regime has tried to shift the blame for the attack today on rebels whilst still refusing to allow the UN to investigate.

ITV News' Middle East Correspondent Geraint Vincent reports:

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