UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Thursday he would launch a probe into possible chemical weapons use in Syria, on a request by the government, DPA reported.
Both the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and the opposition have accused each other over an attack against civilians that may have involved chemical weapons.
US President Barack Obama said Wednesday that Washington would investigate "very thoroughly" the claims and that he was "sceptical" that the rebels were to blame.
Ban said at UN headquarters in New York that "the investigation mission is to look into the specific incident brought to my attention by the Syrian government." "I am, of course, aware that there are other allegations of similar cases involving the reported use of chemical weapons."
He said he had received a formal request from Damascus, which claimed rebel forces had used the weapons and asked for a "specialized, impartial and independent mission to investigate the alleged use of chemical weapons."
He said his senior advisers had begun working on the method and terms to probe the allegation made by Syria, with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the World Health Organization taking part.