CRI在线收听:Russia Warns of "Catastrophic" Syria Strike

Snipers opened fire on Monday striking a vehicle in a UN convoy carrying a team investigating the alleged use of chemical weapons outside of Damascus.

A spokesman for UN Secretary-General Farhan Haq says the attack forced investigators back to their base.

"I don't have any details about the direction from which the shooting came。 The shooters have not been identified as of yet, although we certainly hope that the parties will help bring this issue to a close and prevent any further recurrence。"

Both the Syrian government and the rebels accuse each other of carrying out the attack。

One the first day of investigations UN experts visited two hospitals, interviewing witnesses, survivors and also collecting samples。

Both the US and the UK say they have information suggesting Syrian government forces have deployed chemical weapons。

U.S Secretary of State John Kerry has called the use of chemical weapons against civilians in Syria "inexcusable" and "undeniable."

"the indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders by chemical weapons is a moral obscenity.By any standard it is inexcusable and despite the excuses and equivocations that some have manufactured, it is undeniable."

The US is accusing the Bashar al-Assad government of destroying evidence。

Meanwhile unusual activity has been monitored at a British military base in Cyprus, causing speculation of possible preparation for military action against government targets in Syria.

However, the Syrian president has dismissed the chemical weapons charges.

Assad says Western claims that the Syrian government used chemical weapons were "an insult to common sense."

Meanwhile, Russia is blaming the Syrian opposition for manipulating reports of a sniper attack on UN experts.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says there is no evidence supporting the accusations.

"They have announced it officially in Washington, London and Paris that they have inconvertible information, inconvertible evidence, regarding the guilt of the Syrian authorities。 They cannot produce evidence, but keep on saying that the 'red line' has been crossed and they cannot wait any longer。"

The EU has said it is important UN inspectors in Syria are able to examine evidence as quickly as possible and reach clear conclusions.

Chinese government says it is firmly opposed to the use of chemical weapons by any party in Syria。

For CRI, this is Cao Yuwei.

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