The convoy of U.N. experts cross into Lebanon at the Lebanese border crossing point of Masnaa, Lebanon, Saturday(Photo: Hussein Malla, AP)
U.N. weapons inspectors have left Syria ahead of schedule amid high anticipation of an imminent U.S. attack.
The Associated Press reports the team of inspectors was seen crossing into Lebanon early Saturday. They carried out their final inspection Friday.
Their departure had been planned for about 9 a.m. Saturday (2 a.m. ET), but NBC News reports they left their hotel in Damascus about 5:30 a.m. in vehicles headed to Beirut, Lebanon.
The weapons inspectors' exit comes after Secretary of State John Kerry laid out the U.S. case for war Friday.
"History would judge us all extraordinarily harshly if we turned a blind eye to a dictator's wanton use of weapons of mass destruction against all warnings, against all common understanding of decency," Kerry said.
The chemical weapons experts have been working to determine what occurred in the apparent chemical weapons attack near Damascus on Aug. 21, which U.S. intelligence reports say left 1,429 people dead, including 426 children. They have taken blood and urine samples from victims and soil samples from areas where chemical attacks have been reported, the Associated Press reports. The samples will be tested in Europe.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the five permanent SecurityCouncil members that results from the inspection team's findings could take about two weeks, according to NBC News.
Although, the team's report will confirm whether or not chemical weapons were used, it is not expected it will confirm who actually used the weapons.
U.S. and British intelligence reports have presented evidence that the Syrian regime was responsible for the attacks, while the Syrian government maintains that the attack was carried out by rebel forces.