News / Middle East

UN Team Delays Visits to 2 Syrian Chemical Weapons Sites

FILE - U.N. vehicles, transporting a team of experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, leave their hotel in Damascus October 22, 2013.FILE - U.N. vehicles, transporting a team of experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, leave their hotel in Damascus October 22, 2013.
x
FILE - U.N. vehicles, transporting a team of experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, leave their hotel in Damascus October 22, 2013.
FILE - U.N. vehicles, transporting a team of experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, leave their hotel in Damascus October 22, 2013.
VOA News
International inspectors charged with visiting Syria's chemical weapons sites say two of the sites remain inaccessible due to security concerns.
 
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said Monday that inspections at 21 of the 23 sites had been completed and that it was still trying to secure safe access to the remaining two sites.
 
Syria has already submitted plans for the destruction of its chemical weapon arsenal, giving them to the OPCW three days ahead of schedule.
 
The statement from the chemical weapons inspectors comes as the U.N.-Arab League envoy for Syria is making his first visit to Damascus in almost a year.
 
Lakhdar Brahimi met Monday with Syria's deputy foreign minister, Faisal al Miqdad, during a regional tour aimed at building support for peace talks.
 
Russia, the United States and other Western powers have been pushing for a new round of talks in Geneva in mid-to-late November.
 
On Sunday, several jihadist groups fighting in Syria slammed the idea of new peace talks. The Western-backed Syrian National Coalition has also expressed reservations about the proposed conference, saying it will not attend unless the talks result in the ouster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
 
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday accused those backing many of the opposition groups of trying to scuttle the talks.
 
"Every opposition group on earth has one patron or another whether in the region or beyond. Everyone knows that, including our U.S. partners. And we together with them are trying to make these sponsors and patrons fully realize their responsibility for the [Syrian] opposition behavior. Everyone talks about the need to start [the] Geneva Two process, but in reality some states, which have a strong influence on the Syrian crisis, work directly to disrupt this Russian-U.S. initiative," said Lavrov.
 
The "Geneva Two" conference would seek to establish a transitional government to run Syria and prepare it for democratic elections.
 
Meanwhile, fighting in Syria rages on. State-run media Monday said government forces retook a Christian town north of Damascus. Parts of the town of Sadad had recently been captured by jihadist forces.
 
Fighting also spilled over into the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli, where the Lebanese army clashed with Sunni residents supporting Syria's opposition groups.
 
The conflict in Syria has killed more than 100,000 people and displaced millions more since it began in March 2011.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Researcher: Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor at Symposium on Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome says problem involves more than calorie intake, warns of worldwide health impact More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs