BEIRUT: Syria's opposition accused pro-regime forces of opening fire at U.N. weapons inspectors Monday on their way to a suspected chemical weapons site outside Damascus in a bid to hinder their investigation.
"The National Coalition of the Syrian opposition and the Free Syrian Army firmly condemn the action of the Assad regime militias at the entrance to Moadamiyet al-Sham... by opening fire on a car transporting the U.N. team," the political opposition and armed rebels said in a statement.
The opposition charged that militias working for President Bashar al-Assad's government were seeking to "intimidate and prevent them (U.N. teams) from unearthing the truth."
A U.N. spokesman earlier said unidentified snipers targeted the experts, but gave no details on where the attack happened.
The Syrian authorities claimed it was the rebels who fired at the U.N. team as they neared the site of the August 21 alleged chemical attack southwest of Damascus.
"Members of the United Nations team... came under fire from armed terrorist groups as they entered the Moadamiyet al-Sham area" southwest of Damascus, state television reported, quoting a Syrian official.
The opposition claims that Assad's forces unleashed chemical weapons east and southwest of Damascus last week, killing more than 1,300 people.
On Monday it said the "truth" will "prove that the Assad regime did carry out crimes against humanity" by targeting the Syrian people.
It also reaffirmed its "total determination to guarantee the security... of the U.N. team" and to "facilitate their work inside liberated territories in Damascus and its province."
Assad's government denies it unleashed a chemical attack and on Sunday gave U.N. inspectors the green light to inspect the areas.