16-09-2019 09:03 AM Jerusalem Timing

Swedish Expert to Lead UN Chemical Weapons Probe in Syria

Swedish Expert to Lead UN Chemical Weapons Probe in Syria

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has chosen Swedish scientist Ake Sellstrom to lead a UN investigation into the use of chemical weapons in Syria

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has chosen Swedish scientist Ake Sellstrom to lead a UN investigation into the use of chemical weapons in Syria.Chemical weapons

"He is an accomplished scientist with a solid background in disarmament and international security," UN spokesman Martin Nesirky announced on Tuesday.

The fact-finding team was set up at the request of the Syrian government after insurgents in Syria were accused of using chemical weapons against civilians near the northern city of Aleppo where dozens of people have been killed and nearly 140 more injured.

It was not immediately clear who else would be on Sellstrom's team. Russia said on Monday that Russian and Chinese experts should be part of the investigation, but Moscow's U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said on Tuesday that Russia would "most likely not" be represented.

Sellstrom was a chief inspector for UNSCOM, the U.N. inspection team that investigated and dismantled Iraq's biological and chemical weapons programs in the 1990s, reports said.

Sellstrom also worked with UNMOVIC, the U.N. group that returned to Iraq in 2002 and found no solid evidence that Baghdad had revived its weapons-of-mass-destruction programs before the 2003 U.S.-led invasion as Washington and London alleged at the time.