News / Middle East

Syria Misses Deadline for Transfer of Deadly Chemicals

A security forces member stands guard aboard the Norwegian frigate Helge Ingstad, in Limassol, Cyprus, Dec. 28, 2013.
A security forces member stands guard aboard the Norwegian frigate Helge Ingstad, in Limassol, Cyprus, Dec. 28, 2013.
VOA News
The Syrian government missed a Tuesday deadline for moving its most deadly chemical weapons components out of the country, with international monitors attributing the delay to unspecified security concerns and bad weather.

Under an internationally brokered deal announced earlier in 2013, Damascus was to have shipped its most lethal chemicals - including about 20 tons of mustard nerve agent - out of the Mediterranean port of Latakia by December 31.  The toxins are slated for destruction at sea, with a mid-2014 deadline looming for the removal of the entire Syrian chemical arsenal.

The international monitoring group overseeing the transfers did not elaborate on the delay.  But Reuters news agency quotes the chief of the United Nations-led oversight group as saying the delay appears minimal "and that the work is about to be completed."

For its part, the U.S. State Department characterized the December 31 deadline as "ambitious," and said it is satisfied to see "forward progress" on the transfers.

A spokesman for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which is jointly monitoring the chemical transfers with the United Nations, told VOA he also remains optimistic about the shipments, despite the delay.  He also noted that Syria no longer has any capacity to manufacture or use chemical weapons.

Earlier in December, forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad regained control of the Damascus-to-Latakia highway that will carry the toxins.  Opposition forces were ousted from several towns along the road, but analysts say convoys still remain vulnerable to attack.

You May Like

In China, Mixed Signals on Ebola Controls

How authorities are monitoring at-risk individuals remains unclear, including whether there are quarantines for Chinese health workers returning from West Africa More

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Electionsi
X
October 31, 2014 4:10 AM
Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid