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

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

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 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: 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.
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