(Reuters)—U.N.-appointed inspectors, blocked from entering Syria, are in Turkey to gather information about possible use of chemical weapons in the civil war, officials said on Thursday.
Members of the team assembled by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had been on standby in Cyprus since April, unable to enter Syria as Western governments accused President Bashar al-Assad's forces of chemical weapons attacks.
They were sent to Turkey this week and its head, Swedish scientist Ake Sellstrom, was meeting Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Thursday, a senior Turkish official told Reuters.
The Syrian government and rebels fighting it have accused each other of using lethal chemical agents, including sarin gas, in the two-year-old conflict.
More than 100,000 people have been killed since fighting began in March 2011 in what is the longest and most violent of the recent Arab uprisings, according to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.