Labs to examine samples collected at Syria attack site
U.N. chemical weapons inspectors are believed to have arrived in the Netherlands, where samples they collected in Syria are expected to be repackaged and sent to laboratories around Europe.
The goal will be to check them for traces of poison gas that may have been unleashed in an Aug. 21 bombardment of a Damascus suburb.
The inspectors earlier left Syria and flew out of Lebanon early Saturday.
An aircraft believed to have been chartered by the German government landed in Rotterdam on Saturday afternoon.
The team on Friday carried out a fourth and final day of inspection as they sought to determine precisely what happened in the Aug. 21 alleged chemical weapons attack near Damascus.
Tests on the samples are expected to take days, but U.N. disarmament chief Angela Kane is to brief Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon later Saturday on the investigation.
U-S President Barack Obama continues to weigh what he calls "limited and narrow'' action against the Syrian regime in response to the attack on civilians the U-S says killed more than 14-hundred people, including more than 420 children.
He says there won't be any ground troops involved.
Meantime, Russian President Vladimir Putin is urging the U-S to consider whether a military strike against Syria would be worth the likelihood of civilian casualties.
In his first comments since the attack on civilians, Putin stressed that U-S President Barack Obama shouldn't rush into any decision on a retaliatory military strike.
As well, Italian Premier Enrico Letta says his country "understands'' why the United States and France are considering military action against Syria's regime for a suspected chemical weapons attack.
But Letta reiterated Saturday that Italy "cannot participate'' in military intervention in Syria without backing from the United Nations.
He said in a statement that Italy "will do everything to find a political solution'' to the Syrian civil war when it participates at the Group of 20 summit in Russia next week.
Letta said Italians are deeply disturbed by the recent images of victims of the alleged chemical weapons attack in suburbs of Damascus.
He said the international community is experiencing "difficult moments'' while trying to decide an appropriate response aimed at preventing such attacks in the future.
Photo credit: online.wsj.com