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August 24, 2013

Inspections urged after gas attack kills Syrian children

(Continued)

While the U.S. is providing humanitarian support and financial aid to the opposition, the Obama administration has made clear its reluctance to get directly involved militarily in the conflict.

The U.N. team has been in Damascus since Sunday to investigate three sites where past chemical weapons attacks allegedly occurred: the village of Khan al-Assal just west of the embattled northern city of Aleppo and two other locations kept secret for security reasons.

It took months of negotiations between the U.N. and the Syrian government to agree on the limited mandate of the probe.

Deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil told The Associated Press on Thursday he was personally in favor of a fair, transparent international delegation to investigate the most recent incident. But he said that would require a new agreement between the government and the U.N. and that the conditions for such a delegation would need to be studied.

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Associated Press writers Bassem Mroue in Beirut, Nataliya Vasilyeva in Moscow, Lee Keath in Damascus, Syria, and Desmond Butler in Istanbul contributed to this report.

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Follow Ryan Lucas on Twitter at www.twitter.com/relucasz .

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