News / Middle East

Syria Chemical Inspection May Start Tuesday

United Nations chemical weapons expert inspects map during visit to site of an alleged attack in Damascus suburbs of Zamalka, Aug. 28, 2013.
United Nations chemical weapons expert inspects map during visit to site of an alleged attack in Damascus suburbs of Zamalka, Aug. 28, 2013.
VOA News
International experts will begin inspecting Syria's chemical arsenal by Tuesday under a plan set to be approved by the world's top chemical weapons monitoring group.
 
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons will vote late Friday on the draft resolution, which calls for inspections within 30 days at all chemical weapons sites declared by Syria's government.
 
The draft also requires Syria to provide OPCW inspectors access to "any other site identified by a State Party as having been involved" in Syria's chemical weapons program.
 
If approved, the demands will become part of a U.N. Security Council draft resolution that will formalize a plan requiring President Bashar al-Assad to give up his chemical weapons by mid-2014.
 
In violence Friday, activists said a car bomb killed at least 30 people and wounded dozens in the town of Rankus, just north of Damascus.
 
Rankus is a Sunni town in a region mostly under control of rebels trying to overthrow Assad's government.
 
The United States and Russia agreed Thursday on the language of the Security Council draft resolution, following weeks of negotiations about how to ensure Assad complies with the disarmament plan.
 
U.S. officials praised the text as legally binding and enforceable, though it does not include an automatic trigger for enforcement if Syria does not comply, as the White House had wanted.
 
President Assad agreed earlier this month to give up his chemical weapons, following threats of U.S. military strikes in response to a poison gas attack on a rebel-held area last month that killed hundreds.
 
Assad denies carrying out the attack. He and his Russian allies say rebels trying to overthrow his government were behind the incident. 
 
The conflict in Syria has killed more than 100,000 people.
 
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Florence Bottomburp from: UK
September 27, 2013 9:49 AM
Kenya’s National Intelligence Agency (NIS) warned some people not to visit the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi before the bloody siege, a warning that was not received by the 67 victims who lost their lives during the attack. Buried at the end of a London Independent report about the incident is the revelation that NIS, “did warn the police and officials inside the President’s office before the Westgate siege, but its warnings went unheeded.”

Individual officials with NIS also told their family members to avoid the Westgate mall on Saturday because it would be the target of an attack. A pregnant policewoman was warned by her brother, an NIS officer, not to visit Westgate. “She has told police that her brother who is a NIS officer warned her not to visit Westgate that Saturday because she would not be able to run,” a senior officer said.

Evidence of prior knowledge that went unheeded is just one of the many questions that are still circulating in the aftermath of the horrific attack, details about which are only becoming more gruesome. Doctors who have had the chance to examine victims say that their injuries are consistent with rape and brutal torture, including eyeballs being gouged out and fingers and parts of noses ripped off using pliers.

Dozens of hostages are still unaccounted for, while the fate of the attackers is still being kept under wraps by authorities. An explanation as to why part of the mall collapsed after an explosion in the final stages of the siege has also not been forthcoming, causing mounting public anger.

As highlighted earlier this week, the attack was carried out by Somalia’s Al Shabaab terror group, which is the African branch of Al-Qaeda, and is ideologically aligned with the same jihadists that the US and NATO backed in Libya and are currently supporting in Syria. The 2011 invasion of Libya expanded Al-Qaeda’s operational capacity in both Africa and the Middle East.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
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.

VOA Blogs