News / Middle East

Syria Denies Delaying Chemical Weapons Probe

Bashar Ja'afari, Syrian ambassador to the United Nations, speaks at a news conference at U.N. headquarters, Apr. 30, 2013.Bashar Ja'afari, Syrian ambassador to the United Nations, speaks at a news conference at U.N. headquarters, Apr. 30, 2013.
x
Bashar Ja'afari, Syrian ambassador to the United Nations, speaks at a news conference at U.N. headquarters, Apr. 30, 2013.
Bashar Ja'afari, Syrian ambassador to the United Nations, speaks at a news conference at U.N. headquarters, Apr. 30, 2013.
Margaret Besheer
Syria’s United Nations' ambassador blamed what he called "some influential countries" for the delay in sending a chemical weapons investigation team to his country. 
 
On March 20, the Syrian government asked U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to set up an independent and impartial investigation to probe its concerns that chemical weapons were used by armed groups in the town of Khan Asal in Aleppo province that week.
 
Ban acted quickly, announcing the next day that he would send a team to investigate. But more than a month later, the 15-person technical mission awaits permission from the Syrian government to enter the country. 
 
At issue is the scope of the investigation. Syria wants only Khan Asal investigated, but Britain and France have raised another possible incident of chemical weapons use in Homs. The U.N. chief has said the team should investigate all credible allegations and has urged the Syrian authorities to give the mission full and unfettered access to do their work.

Syrian Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari told reporters Tuesday that his government is cooperating with the U.N. and is still willing to receive the team, but wants to see the Khan Asal incident investigated before it is willing to begin considering the investigation of other allegations.
 
“We said let us now fulfill, achieve, in a credible manner, impartial, independent manner, the investigation in Khan Asal. Then if the Syrian government and the Secretary-General and the Security Council members, feel that these allegations are also credible, the Syrian government, might - might - examine the possibility of asking for a further investigation," he said. 
 
The Syrian envoy accused hostile governments of seizing on the chemical weapons issue to increase political pressure on President Bashar al-Assad.
 
He side-stepped the question of whether the Syrian authorities possess chemical weapons, repeating the government line that if they do, they would not use them on their own people.
 
Speaking to reporters Monday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon again called for full access to locations in Syria, saying it is necessary if the United Nations is to be able to establish the facts and clear up doubts surrounding this issue.
 
“A credible and comprehensive inquiry requires full access to the sites where chemical weapons are alleged to have been used. I again urge the Syrian authorities to allow the investigation to proceed without delay and without any conditions," he said. 
 
Ban’s spokesman said Tuesday that the Syrian government’s efforts to expedite the deployment of the mission to investigate Khan Asal are welcome, but that cooperation should be extended to other sites.

You May Like

Video Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Gay-marriage opponents are looking for ways to maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture, one writer says More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Dr. Hans F. from: Germany
April 30, 2013 6:45 PM
let me tell you something... I have been privileged to sit in an Israeli intelligence briefing level 2 (EU intel conf - they have 5 levels... the fifth is the top - actionable intelligence...) and it is incredible!!! they know EVERYTHING!!! they know when Assad is on the internet - which he uses quite a lot... what he watches... what he says and to whom... they listen to his phone calls... they advance people they control in his administration... people they can not co opt suddenly die of heart attacks... and all this is applicable to Egypt and Iran...
now, if Putin listen to them so attentively, I believe Obama should do the same... before he commits US forces to protect Jordan, he should know that US forces will come under attack from the Jordanians themselves... listen, Turkey is imploding under Islamic fascism, Lebanon has been hollowed from within by Hezbullah, Syria is a battle ground between Saudi Arabia and Iran, Egypt is reverting to Islamic Fascism... Obama, make your move wisely...

by: Dr. Hollenbrook from: UK
April 30, 2013 5:20 PM
did you hear that "The head of Lebanese militant group Hezbollah has declared that Syria has real friends who will not let it fall to the US/Israel and Islamic radicals..." someone must remind this idiot that HE IS ISLAMIC RADICAL!!!!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More