News / Middle East

    UN to Probe 5 Serious Cases of Alleged Chemical Weapons Use in Syria

    FILE - This video image from an anti-Bashar Assad activist group shows a Syrian man being treated with an inhaler in Kfar Zeita, north of Damascus, after what witnesses said was a chlorine gas attack, April 18, 2014.
    FILE - This video image from an anti-Bashar Assad activist group shows a Syrian man being treated with an inhaler in Kfar Zeita, north of Damascus, after what witnesses said was a chlorine gas attack, April 18, 2014.
    Ken Schwartz

    A United Nations team says it has zeroed in on five serious cases of alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria for further investigation, including chlorine gas and mustard gas.

    The U.N. chemical weapons agency and the Security Council set up the Joint Investigative Mechanism — JIM — last year after reports of as many as 116 incidents of chemical attacks in Syria against civilians since 2014.

    The JIM mission is not to blame one side or the other, but to turn over the results of its investigation and any evidence to the Security Council.

    But JIM leaders say "all individuals, groups, entities or governments that have any role in enabling the use of chemicals as weapons, for whatever reason and under any circumstances, must understand that they will be identified and made accountable for these abhorrent acts."

    The Syrian government and rebels blame each other for using chemicals against civilians. But U.S. officials have said some of the attacks involved barrel bombs dropped from helicopters, and pointed out that the rebels do not have helicopters.

    The five cases to be thoroughly investigated involve the suspected use of chemical weapons on villages in Hama and Idlib in 2014 and 2015, and on a town near the Turkish border where Islamic State is active.

    Meanwhile, the head of the Central Intelligence Agency, John Brennan, said IS has used such weapons in Syria.

    Brennan told CBS television's 60 Minutes, to be broadcast Sunday, that there are a number of instances where the terrorists used "chemical munitions on the battlefield."

    He said Islamic State has the capacity to make small quantities of chlorine and mustard gas and may be looking to sell the chemicals.

    You May Like

    In Britain, The Sun Still Doesn’t Shine

    Invoking Spitfires and Merlin, Leave voters insist country can be great again, following surprising 'Brexit' vote last week

    Double Wave of Suicide Bombings Puts Lebanon, Refugees on Edge

    Following suicide bombings in Christian town of Al-Qaa, on Lebanon's northeast border with Syria, fears of further bombings have risen

    US Senators Warned on Zika After Failing to Pass Funding

    Zika threats and challenges, as well as issues of contraception and vaccines, spelled out as lawmakers point fingers

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: baba Voenga from: underground
    February 12, 2016 4:40 AM
    Has "the director of the Central Intelligence Agency" really finally realized that "Islamic State fighters in Syria have used chemical weapons"? He finally woke up? And has president Obama realized the same? And Kerry the same? And others the same?
    It took them less than an hour to blame Assad in using chemical weapons and almost three years (2016-2013=3) to realize "IS have used chemical weapons".
    It took them less than an hour to blame Donbass and Russia in shooting down MH17 and more then 1,5 years not to find certain guilties.
    Suspiciously similar pattern of thinking and acting, as well as the imposing of its own favourable findings to other interested and disinterested persons and parties.
    The truth will still come out.

    by: AHMED from: INDIA
    February 12, 2016 4:14 AM
    IS has long list of SPONSORS. So IS is getting what its demands from its Sponsors namely Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordan, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE and USA.
    If not how they are getting these weapons and who finance them.
    In Response

    by: meanbill from: USA
    February 12, 2016 11:28 AM
    Hey AHMED _ In March of 2013, al-Baghdadi went to Syria from al-Qaeda in Iraq (with only the clothes on his back) looking for fighters and supporters for al-Qaeda, [but lo and behold], al-Baghdadi discovered a ready made army of tens of thousands of foreign Sunni Muslim religious extremists, fanatics and insane that the US had already armed and trained in Turkey and Jordan to wage a Jihad war on the Shia Muslim led government of Assad and Syria, [and then], al-Baghdadi gave them a far better cause to fight and die as a martyr for in his newly created Sunni Muslim ISIL Caliphate army, [and then], in August of 2014, al-Baghdadi led his Sunni Muslim ISIL army in an invasion of Iraq, and the rest is history now? .. That's how the ISIL terrorist army was created in 2013 and 2014, and it wasn't created out of thin air?

    [And now?] .. The Sunni Muslim ISIL terrorist army and all the other terrorists have become a real world power now with chemical weapons, and are threatening to become a world super power soon with dreams of obtaining nuclear weapons in the future, all because the US (without thinking) armed and trained tens of thousands of foreign Sunni Muslim religious extremists, fanatics and insane to wage a Jihad war on Assad and Syria? .. It's the military strategy of the US commander in chief gone crazy, and then completely insane?

    by: Shane
    February 12, 2016 3:56 AM
    BS Carla del Ponte head of the UN chemical weapons investigation into the Syrian attack clearly said the attacks was the work of the opposition or rebels and not the Syrian government search it on YouTube her interview is accurate but you never seen it on the biased main stream media

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeasti
    X
    June 29, 2016 6:15 PM
    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora