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

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
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.

More: http://tautur.tumblr.com/post/31516834290

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.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs