News / Middle East

Russia: UN Investigators Heading Back to Syria

Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov speaks during a news briefing in the main building of Foreign Ministry in Moscow. (File photo)Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov speaks during a news briefing in the main building of Foreign Ministry in Moscow. (File photo)
x
Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov speaks during a news briefing in the main building of Foreign Ministry in Moscow. (File photo)
Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov speaks during a news briefing in the main building of Foreign Ministry in Moscow. (File photo)
VOA News
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov says United Nations chemical weapons investigators are expected to return to Syria on Wednesday.

The U.N. team led by Ake Sellstrom completed a two-week probe in Syria earlier this month, but focused largely on a deadly attack in the Damascus suburbs.

Their original mandate was to investigate three earlier attacks, including one in March outside of Aleppo that the Syrian government and rebel fighters blamed on each other.

The inspectors have been tasked with determining whether chemical weapons have been used, but not to assign blame.

The attack outside Damascus sparked international condemnation and led to a plan to remove Syria's chemical weapons stockpile. The U.N. Security Council has been discussing a resolution to enforce that plan, and Ryabkov said Tuesday that Russia is hopeful an agreement will be reached this week.

Interactive map of chemical weapons destruction sites



Russia and China have opposed a push by the United States, Britain and France to include the threat of military intervention if Syria failed to give up its chemical arsenal.

Meanwhile, aid groups are urging world leaders meeting at the United Nations this week to give more aid to Syrian refugees, saying their funding appeals are falling short.

A coalition of 14 humanitarian organizations issued a statement in New York Monday saying many Syrian refugees are being left to fend for themselves, without adequate food, shelter and medicine.

They say an estimated 70 percent of Syria's refugees are moving into villages and cities rather than formal camps.

The groups also note the overwhelming numbers of refugees, saying that more than 50,000 Syrians arrived in northern Iraq during a single week last month. They say around 75,000 Syrians arrive each month in Lebanon and now make up one-fifth of that country's population.

Syria's civil war has forced 2 million people to flee the country, with another 4.5 million people displaced within Syria. In total, the conflict has forced more than a quarter of Syria's population to leave their homes.

Most of those who have fled the country have gone to neighboring nations, including Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid