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

Yemen Brings US, Iran Closer to Naval Face-off

US sending two more ships to waters off coast of Yemen to take part in 'maritime security operations' More

Minorities Become Majority Across US

From 2000 to 2013, minorities became the majority in 78 counties in the United States. Here's where those demographic shifts are happening More

Japan's Maglev Train Breaks Own Speed Record

Seven-car 'magnetic levitation' train traveled at more than 600 kilometers per hour during test run Tuesday 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 Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Paini
X
Shelley Schlender
April 20, 2015 7:03 PM
Pain has a purpose - it can stop you from touching a flame or from walking on a broken leg. As an injury heals, the pain goes away. Usually. But worldwide, one out of every five people suffers from pain that lasts for months and years, leading to lost jobs, depression, and rising despair when medical interventions fail or health experts hint that a pain sufferer is making it up. From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Italy Rescues Migrants After Separate Deadly Capsize Incident

Italy continued its massive search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean Monday for the capsized boat off the coast of Libya that was carrying hundreds of migrants, while at the same time rescuing Syrian migrants from another vessel off the coast of Sicily. Thirteen children were among the 98 Syrian migrants whose boat originated from Turkey on the perilous journey to Europe.
Video

Video New Test Set to Be Game Changer in Eradicating Malaria

The World Health Organization estimates 3.4 billion people are at risk of malaria, with children under the age of five and pregnant women being the most vulnerable. As World Malaria Day approaches (April 25), mortality rates are falling, and a new test -- well into the last stage of trials -- is having positive results in Kenya. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA from Nairobi.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.

VOA Blogs