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

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    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.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora