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.

You May Like

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video Survivor Video Testimonies Recount Horrors of Guatemalan Genocide

During a conflict that spanned more than three decades, tens of thousands of indigenous Mayans were killed More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

This forum has been closed.
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...

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs