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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."

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

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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."

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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MSF 'almost certain' neurotoxic agent used in Syria

French medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has said they were certain a neurotoxic agent was used in Syria after an alleged chemical attack in a suburb of Damascus.

MSF France President Mego Terzian said he was "almost certain" a neurotoxic agent had been used on the victims but could not say who was responsible for the attacks.

MSF: Use of neurotoxic agents in Syria breaks law

Medecins Sans Frontieres says there is strong evidence that the “large number of patients” doctors have treated in Syria were exposed to a “neurotoxic agent”.

Medical staff working in these facilities provided detailed information to MSF doctors regarding large numbers of patients arriving with symptoms including convulsions, excess saliva, pinpoint pupils, blurred vision and respiratory distress.

The reported symptoms of the patients... strongly indicate mass exposure to a neurotoxic agent. This would constitute a violation of international humanitarian law, which absolutely prohibits the use of chemical and biological weapons.

– Dr Bart Janssens, MSF director of operations

Syrian State TV: Soldiers discover 'chemical agents'

Syrian state television is reporting that government soldiers found chemical agents in rebel tunnels in the Damascus suburbs of Jobar this morning. The government run station quoted a "news source" as saying:

In some cases, soldiers are suffocating while entering Jobar. Ambulances came to rescue the people who were suffocating in Jobar.

Activists say more than a thousand people were killed in a chemical attack in Jobar on Wednesday morning.

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