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

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap More

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.
Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calaisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 19, 2014 5:04 PM
The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video CERN Accelerator Back in Business

The long upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider is over. The scientific instrument responsible for the discovery of the Higgs boson -- the so-called "God particle" -- is being brought up to speed in time for this month's 60th anniversary of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French acronym CERN. Physicists hope the accelerator will help them uncover more secrets about the origins of the universe. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid