News / Middle East

    UN Security Council Calls For Investigation of Alleged Syria Attack

    A citizen journalism image provided by the Local Committee of Arbeen which has been authenticated based on contents and AP reporting, shows Syrian citizens trying to identify dead bodies, after an alleged poison gas attack by government forces. There has
    A citizen journalism image provided by the Local Committee of Arbeen which has been authenticated based on contents and AP reporting, shows Syrian citizens trying to identify dead bodies, after an alleged poison gas attack by government forces. There has
    Margaret Besheer
    The U.N. Security Council is calling for a thorough, prompt, and impartial investigation into Wednesday's alleged poison gas attack by the Syrian military.  

    Syrian activists accuse government forces of using chemical weapons overnight in the suburbs of Damascus, killing hundreds of people.
     
    Several countries called for an emergency meeting of the Security Council in response to the reports.

    Following two hours of closed door discussions and a briefing from Deputy U.N. Chief Jan Eliasson, the council president, Ambassador Maria Cristina Perceval of Argentina, read a statement to reporters.
     
    “There is strong concern among council members about the allegations and a general sense that there must be clarity on what happened and that the situation has to be followed carefully.  All council members agreed that any use of chemical weapons by any side, under any circumstances, is a violation of international law," said Perceval.

    She said the council welcomed Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's call for a “thorough, impartial and prompt investigation” and underlined the need for immediate humanitarian assistance to the victims.
     
    Video report by Zlatica Hoke

    UN Calls For Access to Alleged Chemical Attack Sites In Syriai
    X
    August 22, 2013 12:22 PM
    The international community is calling on the Syrian government to grant chemical weapons experts immediate access to the site of an alleged chemical attack on Wednesday. A United Nations team of experts is in Syria to investigate earlier allegations of chemical weapons attacks in the country's civil war. Zlatica Hoke reports.

    Wednesday’s alleged attack comes as a team of U.N. scientific experts is in the country to examine allegations of three earlier possible uses of chemical weapons by the government or the rebels.
     
    The team has received government permission to visit three sites - one in Aleppo province at Khan al-Assal where Syria's government accuses rebels of using chemical agents in March - and two other sites that have not been identified, but likely are from a list of alleged chemical attack sites given to the U.N. by the United States, France and Britain.
     
    The U.N. mission will try to establish only whether chemical weapons were used, not who used them.
     
    Eliasson told reporters after he briefed council members that an investigation is needed immediately.
     
    “This represents, no matter what the conclusions are, a serious escalation with grave humanitarian consequences and human consequences.  We very much hope that we will be able to conduct the investigation.  Dr. [Ake] Sellström and his team are in place in Damascus; we hope they will be given access to the area by the government," said Eliasson.
     
    Eliasson expressed concern about the security situation on the ground and said that it is a “very dramatic situation” and is not conducive to access right now. He said this is another reason an urgent end to hostilities is needed.
     
    Western diplomats said some 35 U.N. member states have signed a letter to Ban asking him to urgently investigate the latest chemical allegations.
     
    The United Nations said earlier that the head of the investigation team is in discussions with the Syrian government on all issues pertaining to the alleged use of chemical weapons, including this most recent reported incident.
     
    Ban has said repeatedly that if chemical weapons have been used in Syria, it would constitute a war crime for which the perpetrators must be held accountable.

    You May Like

    US, Somalia Launch New Chapter in Relations

    US sends first ambassador to Somalia in 25 years; diplomatic presence and forces pulled out in 1993, after 18 US soldiers were killed when militiamen shot down military helicopter

    Brexit Vote Ripples Across South Asia

    Experts say exit is likely to have far-reaching economic, political and social implications for a region with deep historic ties to Britain

    Russian Military Tests Readiness With Snap Inspections

    Some observers see surprise drill as tit-for-tat response to NATO’s recent multinational military exercises in Baltic region

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: HA12 from: Egypt
    August 23, 2013 7:19 AM
    yeah, we should relay on the French to do something about it... LOL

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Testing Bamboo as Building Materiali
    X
    June 27, 2016 9:06 PM
    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapides’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora