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

    California Republicans Mull Choices in Presidential Race

    Ted Cruz tells state's Republican Convention delegates campaign will be 'battle on the ground, district by district by district,' ahead of June 7 primary

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, many Kurds are trying to escape turmoil by focusing on success of football team Amedspor

    South African Company Designs Unique Solar Cooker

    Two-man team of solar power technologists introduces Sol4, hot plate that heats up so fast it’s like cooking with gas or electricity

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora