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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs