Ake Sellstrom of Sweden, a project manager at a European research center, was appointed Tuesday to head the UN fact-finding mission to investigate allegations of chemical weapons use in Syria, a UN spokesman said, DPA reported.
"He is an accomplished scientist with a solid background in disarmament and international security," said Martin Nesirky after Sellstroem was appointed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
Sellstrom will head the mission "to find out whether chemical weapons were used, and not by whom," Nesirky said, adding that the fact-finding mission is a technical probe and not a criminal investigation.
Sellstrom is currently a project manager at the European Center for Advanced Studies of Societal Security and Vulnerability, in particular major incidents with chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive substances (CBRNE).
He has taught at universities in the United States and served as a director at the Swedish Defence and Security Research Institute (FOI). Sellstrom also worked for UN missions in Iraq in the 1990s.
The Syrian government last week asked Ban to investigate what it claimed was a chemical weapon attack by the armed opposition during fighting in Aleppo.
France and Britain also alleged that chemical weapons were used on three occasions in Syria and consequently asked Ban to include the cases in the investigation.
Nesirky said the technical team doing the investigation will be composed of experts proposed by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
The initial focus of the investigation will be an incident involving the alleged use of chemical weapons in Kfar Dael region in Khan Al-Asal area in Aleppo governorate, Nesirky said.