U.N. answers Syria question with appeal for diplomacy

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The United Nations’ Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Wednesday that it’s not too late for Syria to work toward a peaceful, diplomatic end to the two-plus years of violence that’s pitted President Bashar Assad’s forces against rebel fighters.

The rest of the world, meanwhile, seemed to take a step toward the side of military strikes against Mr. Assad’s government. Mr. Ban said, however, that military intervention wasn’t necessary, The Associated Press reported.


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He told an audience at the Great Hall of Justice at the Peace Palace in The Hague that the U.N. special investigative team was sifting through evidence and would soon determine the facts about an alleged chemical attack that took place at a rebel stronghold outside Damascus and left hundreds, including women and children, dead.

The team’s already “gathered valuable samples and interviewed victims and witnesses,” he said, adding that investigators should be given the time they need to complete their research.

Syrian’s government steadfastly denies it used poison gas on rebel forces. The United States has waded into the debate, and Secretary of State John Kerry said earlier this week that it seemed obvious that chemical weaponry was used. The White House, meanwhile, started to paint a picture of Western involvement to a reluctant public, laying out a possible plan of attack.

Mr. Ban also said the United Nations Security Council should not go “missing in action” during discussions about Syria’s fate, despite the deep schism that separates members on the conflict, AP reported.

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