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A lot riding on U.N. team now in Syria: ex-top weapons investigator

Thursday, August 22, 2013 - 01:13

Aug. 23 - The former top U.S. weapons investigator for Iraq says ''a lot is riding'' on the U.N. team now in Syria to investigate a possible massive chemical weapons attack. Mana Rabiee reports.

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Inside this Damascus hotel in Syria waits a United Nations inspection team. They're waiting for access to suburbs just a few miles away to investigate reports of what -- if confirmed -- could be the most lethal chemical weapons attack in decades. Video of the alleged attack - that could not be independently verified by Reuters - was released on Wednesday. In Washington, D.C., the former top U.S. weapons investigator for Iraq, Charles Duelfer, watches the grim images. He says a lot's riding on what the U.N. investigators find. SOUNDBITE: CHARLES DUELFER, FORMER U.S. WEAPONS INSPECTOR FOR IRAQ, SAYING: "Everyone is looking to them for their reports and their advice and that's a lot of pressure to be under. When you have someone like the French foreign minister saying, 'well if these guys say that chemical weapons have been used then we are going to react forcefully, well that's a lot of responsibility. In essence they've got their finger on the trigger of the international community where military force can be unleashed." The opposition Syrian National Council said on Thursday the death toll from the attack was now over 1,400. That number has not been verified and the Syrian government denies it was behind the attack.

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A lot riding on U.N. team now in Syria: ex-top weapons investigator

Thursday, August 22, 2013 - 01:13