UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- The samples collected by UN inspectors from the site of the alleged Aug. 21 chemical weapons attacks in Syria were shipped from The Hague, the Netherlands, Monday and will reach their designated laboratories "within hours," said a UN spokesman.
"The samples were shipped this afternoon from The Hague and will reach their destination within hours," UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said in a note emailed to reporters here. "The designated laboratories are prepared to begin the analyses immediately after receipt of samples."
The UN fact-finding group, led by Swedish specialist Ake Sellstrom, was created by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in March at the request of the Syrian government. The investigators were ordered out of the war-torn country Saturday to return to The Hague.
The team, which was initially set to investigate the alleged March 19 chemical attacks on Khan al-Asal in the northern province of Aleppo and two other undisclosed sites, arrived at the war-torn nation on Aug. 18. The investigators were later told to travel to the Damascus suburb of Ghouta, where chemical weapons were allegedly used on Aug. 21, to collect evidence.
"Since the return of the Mission last Saturday, the UN team worked around the clock to finalize the preparations of the samples in view of their shipment to the designated laboratories," the spokesman said.
The secretary-general on Sunday discussed with Sellstrom on "how to expedite the process of analyzing the samples according to established international standards and regulations," said the spokesman, who failed to disclose how long the process of samples analysis will take.
He said the secretary-general will share the initial report with member states and the UN Security Council.
Laboratories in non permanent members of the Security Council have been chosen, said Nesirky, without giving further details.
According to the spokesman, the secretary-general would continue to be in close contact with the five permanent members of the Security Council and would brief the 10 non-permanent members of the Council on the latest developments at 10:00 a.m. EDT (1400GMT)Tuesday.
Angela Kane, the UN high representative for disarmament affairs, "is due to brief member states that wrote to the secretary-general requesting the investigation of the alleged use of chemical weapons in Ghouta area of Damascus on 21 August 2013" Tuesday.
On her return to New York, Kane, who was sent to Syria by the secretary-general to negotiate an access for the UN inspectors to investigate the alleged chemical weapons attack on Aug. 21, on Saturday briefed Ban on her trip and the current status of the UN investigation in Syria.
In the meantime, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad warned U.S. and France that they will face grave consequences if they attack Syria.
"If the United States wages an aggression against Syria, everyone will lose control and the result will be the spread of violence, war and extremism because the situation is not only related to Syria, but the entire region," Assad said in an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro carried out by Syrian state-run SANA news agency Monday.
"There will be repercussions, negative ones obviously, on French interests," he continued.
"Anybody who contributes to the financial and military reinforcement of terrorists is the enemy of the Syrian people. The French are not our enemy... but if the policies of the French state are hostile to the Syrian people, the state will be their enemy," said Assad.
"Chaos and extremism would ensue and there is a risk of regional war," he warned.
His remarks came as the White House geared up efforts to win Congressional support for a strike on Syria.
On Monday, President Obama invited Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham to the White House to discuss military intervention in Syria.
On Saturday, Obama announced that he would seek authorization by Congress for military actions to punish the Assad administration for the alleged Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack in the suburbs of Damascus, the Syrian capital, which reportedly killed at least 1,429 people, including 426 children. The Syrian government has denied the accusation.