News / Middle East

Russia Denounces UN Chemical Report on Syria

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (CR) meets Russian deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov (CL) in Damascus, Sept. 18, 2013.
Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (CR) meets Russian deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov (CL) in Damascus, Sept. 18, 2013.
VOA News
Russia has sharply criticized the new United Nations report on the August 21 gas attack in Syria, calling it "biased, incomplete, distorted and one-sided."

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov also said Wednesday that Syria has provided new evidence revealing that rebels were the ones who carried out the deadly attack last month outside Damascus.

His remarks came a day after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also questioned the U.N. report, saying there are "serious grounds to believe" the incident was a provocation carried out by the rebel side.

  • This citizen journalism image provided by Edlib News Network shows anti-Syrian regime protesters hold a poster depicting U.S. President Barack Obama during a demonstration in Kafr Nabil, Idlib province, Sept. 20, 2013.
  • Children sit along a damaged street filled with debris in the besieged area of Homs, Sept. 19, 2013.
  • Debris is seen on the ground after what activists said was shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the al-Myassar neighborhood of Aleppo, Sept. 19, 2013.
  • An injured man walks along a street after what activists said was shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the al-Myassar neighborhood of Aleppo, Sept. 19, 2013.
  • This citizen journalism image provided by The Syrian Revolution against Bashar Assad shows a Syrian military tank on fire during clashes with Free Syrian army fighters in Joubar, a suburb of Damascus, Sept. 18, 2013.
  • A member of the Shohadaa Badr Brigade, which operates under the Free Syrian Army, stands in shooting position behind sandbags in Ashrafieh, Aleppo, September 17, 2013.
  • Free Syrian Army fighters walk through rubble inside the old city of Aleppo, Sept. 16, 2013.
  • A Free Syrian Army fighter carries his weapon as he stands on rubble of damaged buildings in al-Aseela neighborhood near Aleppo's historic citadel, Sept. 13, 2013.
  • In this citizen journalism image provided by the United media office of Arbeen, a Syrian protester chants slogans during a demonstration in Arbeen, a suburb of Damascus, Sept. 13, 2013.

Asked about the Russian criticisms, U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky called the findings in the report "indisputable." He said "they speak for themselves and this was a thoroughly objective report on that specific incident."

Western countries and human rights groups said the findings, presented earlier this week, implicated the Syrian regime in using sarin for that attack. They cited the report's detailed annexes on the types of weapons used, their trajectories and the amount of gas they carried.

Despite their disagreement on the report, Russia, China, France, Britain and the United States have agreed to work toward a United Nations resolution governing the removal of Syria's chemical arsenal.

UN Report on Ghouta Attack

Conclusions
  • Chemical weapons were used on a relatively large scale
  • Environmental, chemical and medical evidence provides clear evidence that surface-to-surface rockets containing sarin were used

Evidence
  • Impacted and exploded surface-to-surface rockets were found to contain sarin
  • Close to rocket impact sites, the environment was found to contain sarin
  • Patients/survivors were diagnosed as intoxicated by an organophosphorous compound
  • Blood and urine samples from those patients were positive for sarin and sarin signatures

Source: UN
Diplomats from those countries, which make up the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, are due to gather again Wednesday to discuss the proposed resolution. Their main roadblock is whether to include the threat of military action to enforce the measure, which Russia and China have opposed.

Syria's deputy foreign minister said his government is confident the United Nations will not adopt the resolution under Chapter VII, which could allow the use of force if Damascus does not uphold the disarmament plan.

Also Wednesday, chief U.N. chemical weapons inspector Ake Sellstrom said his team will return to Syria "within weeks" to follow up on several more allegations of chemical weapons use.

Sellstrom, head of the inspection team that went to Syria last month, said the group will evaluate "allegations of chemical weapons use from both sides, but perhaps mainly from the Syrian government's side."

He said there are 13 or 14 alleged incidents that "have to be investigated," adding that inspectors would not be addressing the question of who was responsible for the August 21 gas attack in which the United States claims more than 1,400 people died.

You May Like

Cambodia Seeks Official UN Maps for Vietnam Border

Notice of request comes as 2 countries open border talks Tuesday after a clash last month More

From South Africa to Vietnam, Cyclists Deliver Message Against Rhino Horns

Appalled by poaching they saw firsthand, sisters embark on tour to raise awareness in countries where rhino horn products are in demand More

Uber Wants Johannesburg Police Protection

Request follows recent protests outside ride-hailing service's Johannesburg office More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: AAR from: global
September 19, 2013 5:21 PM
No honest actors in this tragic drama....You have a butcher (Assad) killing his own citizens...and you have Islamic extremists fighting for their own beliefs for the Middle East....what to do? Not much...only sit back and watch the nightmare play out....tragic....USA...stay out!!

by: Ly Thuong Kiet from: Vietnam
September 19, 2013 5:14 AM
The UN inspectors must be replaced by another team of inspectors because they have failed to point out who was behind the chemical attack and because they have issued a one-sided report which does not contain every evidence given to them.

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
September 18, 2013 8:54 AM
This is all the more reason why there is a need for total disintegration of what is called Syrian regime under Mr. Assad and Syrian National Council or whatever the name the rebel go by. There is no more relevance of any of them, and there is total distrust right now reigning supreme in the country. The fact that Syria is an intractable problem to the so-called security council proves also the irrelevance of the Security Council as presently constituted.

As proposed for Syria to be collapsed and new regime formulated, so also the security council, and if need be, the entire UN should be collapsed and a proper global organization that will not be biased, politicized and one-sided, a body that will rise to its bidding in the face of present Syria-like situation and come up with united resolution to save lives, reunite a warring nation(s) and bring peace to the troubled world be formed. At the moment everyone knows that the collapse of the US under the Syrian bug, the double speak of the European counterparts, and the stupid vehement stubbornness of Russia and China make nonsense of the whole situation at the UN.

The world is watching until no tangible action is taken to bring the chemical warfare on Syrian people to book before a global uproar that will be more intractable for the ill-formed UN, the US and allies to handle. Then it will be either the security council itself will opt to resign or a parallel body will be formed to which peace loving countries will shift attention in preference for the UN. That will lead to the natural disintegration of an organization that refuses to grow up and live up to its billing.

by: ali baba from: new york
September 18, 2013 8:15 AM
who was using chemical weapons? is us can make clear identification about who is the bad guy. the fact both of them are bad. the only fact the rebel belong to terrorist organization such as Muslim. brotherhood. Muslim brotherhood has a lobby in us whom describe them as a peaceful and democratic seekers. this is absurd. look at what Muslim brotherhood in Egypt. in Libya. did we forget how many million people killed in Sudan by Sudanese RADICAL MUSLIM Gov.

by: Ramnarayan from: Florida, USA
September 18, 2013 7:44 AM
It is a miracle that the five countries in the Sec. Council have at least agreed on some action. This, despite the childishness on the part of both sides insisting that they have some strong evidence to disprove the other side of the issue as to who the real culprits are. Grow up folks and share the entire evidence so that the world can decide on who are all to be held accountable. Sometime, when an average Joe like me listen to these so called diplomats, it makes me wonder where do these people come from and do they really have the qualification to do what they are supposed to be doing.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
Maia Pujara
July 07, 2015 10:01 PM
A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbs

A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video Getting it Done Beyond a Nuclear Deal

If a nuclear deal is reached between Iran and world powers in Vienna, it will be a highly technical road map to be used to monitor nuclear activity in Iran for years to come to ensure Tehran does not make nuclear weapons. Equally as complicated will be dismantling international sanctions that were originally intended to be ironclad. VOA’s Heather Murdock talks to experts about the key challenges any deal will present.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.

VOA Blogs