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

Conflicts Engulf Christians in Mideast

Research finds an increase in faith-based hostilities, and Christians are facing persecution in a growing number of countries in the region More

Chinese Americans: Don’t Call Us 'Model Minority'

Label points to collective achievement, but some say it triggers resentment, unrealistic expectations More

Iran Bolsters Surveillance of Phones, Internet

Does increased monitoring suggest the government is nervous? More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Polish Ghetto

When the Nazi army moved into the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid