By Julian Pecquet - 08/26/13 11:41 AM EDT
International inspectors examining allegations of chemical weapons use in Syria were shot at on Monday, the United Nations said.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said any use of chemical weapons would be a “crime against humanity,” and President Obama huddled with his advisers over the weekend to weigh possible U.S. military responses if the United States concludes that Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces were behind such an attack.
“The first vehicle of the Chemical Weapons Investigation Team was deliberately shot at multiple times by unidentified snipers in the buffer zone area,” the U.N. said in a statement. “As the car was no longer serviceable, the Team returned safely back to the Government check-point. The Team will return to the area after replacing the vehicle.”
“It has to be stressed again that all sides need to extend their cooperation so that the Team can safely carry out their important work.”
None of the inspectors were harmed in the attack.
The inspectors arrived in the war-ravaged country last weekend – just days before the latest allegations – to probe smaller-scale reports of poison gas attacks. Assad's forces and the rebels fighting to topple him have traded accusations that the other side is to blame for any chemical weapons attacks.