UN-Syria deal on effort to assign blame for chemical attacks

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UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations has signed an agreement with Syria that will enable the U.N. expert team seeking to assign blame for chemical attacks in Syria's civil war to operate in the country.

The expert body, called the Joint Implementation Mechanism, became operational last month and has been analyzing reports of three fact-finding missions by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

The OPCW, with U.N. support, carried out the fact-finding missions to determine whether chemical attacks took place in Syria. It was only in August that the U.N. Security Council gave a green light to determine responsibility for attacks.

U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq says the agreement was signed Friday at U.N. headquarters by Virginia Gamba, who heads the expert body, and Syria's U.N. ambassador, Bashar Ja'afari.

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