News / Middle East

    Rights Group Blames Syria for Chemical Attack

    Syria: Damascus Areas of Influence and Areas Reportedly Affected by 21 August Chemical Attack
    Syria: Damascus Areas of Influence and Areas Reportedly Affected by 21 August Chemical Attack
    VOA News
    Human Rights Watch says Syrian forces were "almost certainly responsible" for the chemical weapons attack last month that sparked international debate on how to respond, including the prospect of a U.S. military strike.

    The group said in a new report Tuesday that the type of rockets used, photos and videos from the attack sites, and interviews with victims and doctors all implicate government forces. It also says allegations of rebel responsibility lack credibility and do not match the evidence.

    World mulls Russian plan

    The report comes as world leaders express support for a proposal by Syrian ally Russia to place the country's chemical weapons under international control.

    Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem endorsed the plan presented Monday, saying it would be a way to avoid what he called U.S. aggression. Iran, another Syrian ally, said Tuesday it welcomed the idea.

    Khaled Saleh, a spokesman for the main opposition Syrian National Coalition criticized the proposal, saying President Bashar al-Assad would be unlikely to follow through and would use the step to "buy more time."

    British Prime Minister David Cameron, whose parliament rejected the idea of military intervention, welcomed the plan, but also said the world needs to make sure it is not a "distraction tactic."

    US, France still considering airstrikes

    The United States and France are continuing to assess the option of conducting airstrikes against Syria to punish Assad for allegedly carrying out the deadly chemical attack and to deter any future use of the weapons.

    French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the Russian proposal merits examination, while U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken said the White House will "take a hard look" at the plan.

    U.S. Under Secretary of Defense for Policy James Miller pressed the case for a military strike in talks with Chinese defense officials Monday, saying a strong response would also deter North Korea from using chemical weapons. Speaking Tuesday, Miller said he stressed the need to uphold the international threshold for chemical weapons as a matter of global security.

    China and Russia have opposed outside military intervention in Syria, and have used their veto power on the United Nations Security Council to block three rounds of proposed sanctions against Assad's government.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: pilisugsug from: USA
    September 10, 2013 2:01 PM
    Everyone is concerned about chemical weapons in Syria. What about the weapons we use here in America that slice and dice and grind babies unborn babies as they try to escape from the prodding that the abortionist use.It sounds hypocritical to me.

    by: Anonymous
    September 10, 2013 8:04 AM
    Assad was a criminal using conventional weapons, those weren't working then he turned to chemical and got his hand smacked. He tried to make the opposition out as "Bad Guys" if you ask me...

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