(NEW YORK) -- The United Nations is stepping up efforts to have inspectors sent to Syria to determine conclusively whether Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government has used chemical weapons against his opponents.
In recent days, the U.S. has joined other countries in alleging that there is evidence of chemical weapons likely being used in Syria, although the White House is still hesitant to say whether the accusation is incontrovertible.
On Monday, U.N Secretary General Ban Ki-moon maintained that the only way to "establish the facts and clear up all the doubt" is for an international team of inspectors to make on-site evaluations of areas where the weapons have supposedly been used.
According to Ban, "a credible and comprehensive inquiry requires full access to the sites where chemical weapons are alleged to have been used." As it happens, U.N. inspectors could be deployed to Syria in one-to-two days since they're already in Cyprus.
Inspectors were ready to go in last month when al-Assad's government alleged that rebels attacked government troops with chemical weapons near Syria's largest city of Aleppo.
However, the government abruptly stopped the inspection when the U.N. wanted to expand its investigation into Aleppo as well as the capital of Damascus and the city of Homs, one of the major flashpoints of the two-year conflict.
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