News / Middle East

International Weapons Experts En Route to Syria

  • A U.N. convoy carries experts charged with starting the process of verifying and eliminating chemical weapons to a hotel in Damascus, Oct. 1, 2013.
  • A convoy of inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons prepares cross into Syria at the Lebanese border crossing point of Masnaa, Oct. 1, 2013.
  • A Free Syrian Army fighter reacts as his fellow fighter aims his weapon during what activists said were clashes with forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Deir al-Zor, Oct. 1, 2013.
  • A Free Syrian Army commander reacts while taking cover inside a house during what activists said were clashes with forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Deir al-Zor, Oct. 1, 2013.
  • Free Syrian Army fighters rest in Sheikh Maksoud, Aleppo Oct. 1, 2013.
  • A Free Syrian Army fighter carries his weapon as he runs to avoid snipers loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Aleppo, Oct. 1, 2013.
  • Damaged graves are pictured at a cemetery in Duma neighborhood in Damascus, Oct. 1, 2013.
  • Children walk through damaged streets as they go to school in the Duma neighbourhood in Damascus, Sept. 29, 2013.
  • A destroyed building is seen in Telata village in Idlib province, Sept. 29, 2013.

Developments in Syria

TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
An advance group of weapons inspectors who will oversee Syria's destruction of its chemical arms has arrived in Beirut en route to Damascus.
 
The 20 experts from The Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons will travel to Syria on Tuesday to help President Bashar al-Assad's government meet a November 1 deadline to scrap its ability to manufacture such arms.

The destruction of Syria's existing stockpiles is to be completed by mid-2014.

Meanwhile, a U.N. team of inspectors charged with investigating alleged chemical attack sites concluded its nearly week-long mission in Syria and headed to Lebanon. The U.N. said Friday the team was to investigate a total of seven locations.
 
The group initially visited Syria last month to investigate three alleged chemical attacks earlier this year. But just days into the visit, the rebel-held Damascus suburb of Ghouta was hit by a chemical weapons attack, and the inspectors turned their attention to that case.

The inquiry determined that the nerve agent sarin was used in the August 21 attack, but did not assess who was behind it.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said Monday his government will fully comply with the U.N. Security Council resolution passed last week to have Syria dismantle its chemical weapons program.

He also told the United Nations General Assembly the international community should create a nuclear-free zone throughout the Middle East.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Open Source Seeds Hit the Market, Raise Awareness

First open source seeds include 29 new varieties of broccoli, celery, kale, quinoa and other vegetables and grains More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid