News / Middle East

UN Syria Envoy Says Mission 'Nearly Impossible'

In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian President Bashar Assad, right, meets with the U.N.-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, in Damascus, September 15, 2012.
In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian President Bashar Assad, right, meets with the U.N.-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, in Damascus, September 15, 2012.
VOA News
The international peace envoy to Syria has met with President Bashar al-Assad, and says the crisis in the country is getting worse.

Lakhdar Brahimi met with Assad in Damascus Saturday, their first meeting since Brahimi took over as the U.N. and Arab League special envoy.  The meeting took place as new reports came in of clashes between Syrian forces and rebels and civilians outside Damascus and in Aleppo.

Brahimi told reporters great efforts will be made to end the conflict, but the crisis now poses a threat to the entire region and the world.

Syria maintains its forces are fighting Islamist terrorists.  Syrian state media quoted Assad as telling Brahimi that the crisis can only be stopped if countries that finance and train the terrorists are stopped.

Brahimi replaced former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan as the envoy to Syria two weeks ago.

After arriving in Syria Thursday, he described his mission to end the 18-month-long crisis as "nearly impossible."

On Friday, a U.N. spokesman said Brahimi met with Syrian officials, U.N. staff, Red Cross officers and envoys from Russia and China.  Brahimi is also set to meet with a Syrian opposition group and a European Union delegation.

Eighteen months of fighting between government forces and rebels has killed about 20,000 people, mostly civilians.  U.N. officials say the war has driven more than 1 million people from their homes.

The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 130 people were killed in violence in Syria on Friday alone.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

You May Like

Isolation, Despair Weigh on Refugees in Remote German Camp

Refugees resettled near village of Holzdorf deep in German forestland say there is limited interaction with public, mutual feelings of distrust

Britons Divided Over Bombing IS

Surveys show Europeans generally support more military action against Islamic State militants, but sizable opposition exists in Britain

Russia Blacklists Soros Foundations as 'Undesirable'

Russian officials add Soros groups to a list of foreign and international organizations banned from giving grants to Russian partners

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: D Ross from: Bangkok Thailand
September 16, 2012 3:36 AM
Many seasoned expatriates agree that has been, is, and will continue to be a fool's errand to bring 'democracy' to the Middle East - a geography riven with a millennia of tribal enmity and revenge cultures, the deed is undoable.
Knowledgeable people throughout the Near East hold with President Putin's position - Assad must be supported. Failing this, Syria will most surely join the burgeoning ranks of failed states, its streets awash with howling mobs of illiterate youths, screaming Jihad.
It is a fact, that for every autocratic leader that fell in the Middle East, from Mohammad Rezā Pahlavī to Muammar Gaddafi, chaos, riots, murder, and insurrection followed - as night follows day.

by: Haron from: Afghanistan
September 15, 2012 1:01 PM
I think it must be stop now by those who support the rebels. it should be stop and USA must to find a solution way for Afghanistan instead of Syria. like birds US troops are killing by hunters. they are not safe in their own bases. and today Afghan soldiers fired on NATO coalition forces. most American were killed today. once you should find the way to pull-out your troops then bring a democracy to other countries which impossible to bring in Afghanistan.

by: american from: america
September 15, 2012 11:38 AM
these are mossad, blackwater. cia and al cia duh trying to start a war,

by: the Lrod from: Bajdocja
September 15, 2012 9:22 AM
Yesterday at least three members of my family has been murdered and replaced by Israeli commando. My nience Aga in Lodz , my Uncle Eugeniusz Okularczyk in my hometown Poraj and Uncle Krzysztof in Myszkow. All in Poland.

Also my Belarusian replacement has been instaled in my home builded during communism thanks to Ronald Reagan and friends. You shall remeber Aga from video clip - The Russians. No, they was not a Russians they was part of Pilsudski family - Holy Family.


by: Philip Smeeton from: Oslo
September 15, 2012 6:54 AM
The first fundamental truth about the "Arab Spring" is that there never was one. The salient fact of the Middle East, the only one, is Islam. The Islam that shapes the Middle East inculcates in Muslims the self-perception that they are members of a civilization implacably hostile to the West. The United States is a competitor to be overcome, not the herald of a culture to be embraced.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?i
Carol Pearson
November 29, 2015 1:23 PM
The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video Political Motives Seen Behind Cancelled Cambodian Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle reports from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs