News / Middle East

UN Chemical Weapons Chief: Last of Syria's Stockpile Inaccessible

Sigrid Kaag, special coordinator of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for the U.N., holds a news conference at the U.N. headquarters, May 8, 2014.
Sigrid Kaag, special coordinator of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for the U.N., holds a news conference at the U.N. headquarters, May 8, 2014.
VOA News
The head of the U.N. agency overseeing Syria's chemical weapons destruction says the last remaining eight percent is in a dangerous and inaccessible area.

Sigrid Kaag told reporters after a closed-door Security Council briefing that 16 barrels are all that is left before 100 percent of Syria's stockpile is destroyed.

But she said those barrels are in an area too dangerous to enter because of security problems.

Kaag said full access is critical to ensure Syria meets the June 30 deadline for ridding itself of all chemical weapons. She said the "clock is ticking."

Meanwhile, the head of Syria's main opposition group, Ahmad Jarba, said his talks Thursday in Washington with Secretary of State John Kerry and other top officials will bear fruit for the Syrian people.

Jarba said Syrians are looking to the United States to help them end the suffering.

The United States this week recognized Jarba's Syrian National Coalition as a diplomatic foreign mission.

Secretary of State Kerry said the coalition is a moderate opposition group committed to protecting the rights of all the Syrian people.

"We have obviously an important meeting today with the Syrian opposition coalition and I am very pleased to welcome to the department someone who understands better than anybody the stakes in the struggle in Syria and the fight against extremism," he said. "President Jarba and I have met many times, we have had difficult moments in this journey but we are committed to do our part to support the moderate opposition in its efforts to provide a legitimate voice to the aspirations and hopes of the Syrian people. His coalition, Syrian opposition coalition that he has built is an inclusive and moderate institution committed to the Syrian people and to the protection of all people, all minorities, all rights within Syria. The Syrian opposition coalition has given voice to all Syrians who had been oppressed by the regime for decades."

On Thursday militant Syrian rebels claimed responsibility for blowing up the 150-year-old Carlton Hotel in the historic old city of Aleppo.

The rebels planted bombs in tunnels under the building, completely destroying it. Syrian government forces had been using the old hotel as a base.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the explosion killed 14 soldiers.

The hotel was located across the street from the Citadel of Aleppo, a 13th-century structure that the United Nations cultural agency describes as a "remarkable example" of military architecture in the region.

Aleppo's old city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has been caught in the middle of Syria's civil war. UNESCO placed Aleppo on its listed of endangered historic sites last year. It says the civil war has damaged many of the city's historical sites.

You May Like

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor More

ILO: Women Still Losing Out in Global Work Place

International Labor Organization says women are marginally better off now than they were 20 years ago More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Studentsi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
March 05, 2015 9:04 PM
The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

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