Syria accuses UN chief of expanding weapons probe

ALBERT AJI

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syria has rejected what it says is an attempt by the U.N. secretary-general to broaden the scope of a government request for an international investigation of an alleged chemical weapons attack in the country's north.

Syria asked the U.N. last month to investigate the alleged use of chemical weapons by rebels in March on the village of Khan al-Assal. The rebels blame regime forces.

On Monday, U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon said all reports about the use of chemical weapons in Syria — not just those in which the government accuses rebels — should be examined.

The Foreign Ministry responded that granting U.N. investigators access to the whole country would constitute "a violation of Syrian sovereignty."

It said Syria is still is ready to grant inspectors access to Khan al-Assal.