A much-anticipated United Nations report on an alleged poison gas attack last month in Syria is due to be released to the public Monday as U.S Secretary of State John Kerry continues his world travels in the hope of gaining support among American allies for a deal reached with Russia on the disposal of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad's chemical weapons.
The U.N. said Sunday that its chief chemical weapons inspector had turned over his team's report to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said the report was transmitted Sunday and the secretary-general would brief a closed session of the U.N. Security Council on its contents Monday morning. He will also brief the 193-member General Assembly later that day. The secretary-general is also due to brief the media at approximately 12:50 p.m.
The report was also scheduled to be posted on the website of the UN's Office for Disarmament Affairs sometime Monday morning.
The inspection team, led by Swedish expert Ake Sellstrom was mandated to report on whether chemical weapons were used in the Aug. 21 attack in the Damascus suburbs and, if so, which chemical agents were used — not on who was responsible.
The secretary-general said Friday that he believes there will be "an overwhelming report" that chemical weapons were used in the attack.
On Monday, Kerry was due to meet with top officials from France, Britain, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, who had pressed for military strikes on Syria after the Aug. 21 poison gas attack that killed hundreds. Among those scheduled to meet with Kerry include French President Francois Hollande, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, and British Foreign Secretary William Hague.
U.S. and Russian officials reached an ambitious agreement over the weekend calling for an inventory of Syria's chemical weapons program within a week, with the program eradicated by mid-2014.
A 90-year-old World War II veteran en route to a ceremony marking the 72nd anniversary of the attack at Pearl Harbor was booted from his flight to accommodate the weight of additional jet fuel needed for the trip.
According to Hawaii News Now, Ewalt “Walt” Shatz, a WWII veteran credited with shooting down a Japanese plane during the 1941 attack, was scheduled to take a United Airlines flight direct from Los Angeles to Honolulu on Wednesday, but was re-booked on an American Airlines flight leaving eight hours later that included a layover in Maui.