TODAY’S MESOP’S SYRIA INSIGHT / U.N. Investigates Sheikh Maqsoud

According to the Russian government, a team of U.N. chemical weapons inspectors will return to Syria on Wednesday to investigate alleged chemical attacks at Khan al-Assal, Sheikh Maqsoud, and Saraqeb.

Russia says it hopes to have a U.N. Security Council resolution on Syria this week to support a plan for the Assad regime to relinquish its chemical weapons. However, according to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, talks with the United States “are not going so smoothly.” Additionally, he expressed concern that the chemical weapons proposal may only have postponed a U.S. military strike. Ryabkov reiterated that, “There can be no talk of any automatic sanctions or use of force.” With the recent opening for diplomacy with Iran, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Iran could be included in a long-delayed peace conference on Syria in Geneva, under certain conditions. Along with Iran, the Syrian crisis is expected to be a major focus on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly this week.