News / Middle East

UN Team Resumes Syria Probe

A U.N. vehicle carrying a team of United Nations chemical weapons experts leaves the hotel where they are staying in Damascus, August 28, 2013.
A U.N. vehicle carrying a team of United Nations chemical weapons experts leaves the hotel where they are staying in Damascus, August 28, 2013.
VOA News
United Nations weapons inspectors are resuming their probe of an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria, while Russia warns that an outside military response would destabilize the country and the region.

The U.N. team set out for the Damascus suburbs again Wednesday, a day after postponing their work because of security concerns.

Russian Foreign Minister expressed his opposition to military intervention in a telephone call with U.N.-Arab League peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi.

Russia's Foreign Ministry said Wednesday that Lavrov stressed the need for a political solution, and that the two diplomats agreed all parties inside and outside Syria must act responsibly.

Brahimi has been working for a year to find a peaceful resolution to the crisis, which since March 2011 has left more than 100,000 people dead and millions more displaced.

He is due to brief reporters on the situation in Syria later Wednesday.

Western powers and the Arab League have condemned what they say was clearly a chemical attack by Syrian forces last week that killed hundreds of people.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem reiterated Tuesday his country's denial that it carried out a chemical attack and challenged the United States and its European allies to show evidence.

He said Syria's opponents are using the allegations as an excuse to attack, and vowed to strike back.

The Arab League has also condemned the alleged attack, blaming the Syrian government and demanding those responsible be put on trial.

U.S. officials have said there is "no doubt" Syrian forces used chemical weapons, and that President Barack Obama could decide on a response within days.

Related video report by Zlatica Hoke in Washington

Analysts: US Will Launch Targeted Attack on Syriai
August 28, 2013 10:17 AM
U.S. officials say there is no doubt that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons against its own people. The Obama administration is considering a response to what it calls a blatant violation of international laws by Damascus. Opponents of President Bashar al-Assad support a comprehensive attack on his forces and his removal from power. But analysts say a U.S. strike will be limited to destroying Syria's chemical weapons facilities. Zlatica Hoke has this report.

In Britain, Prime Minister David Cameron has recalled his country's parliament to discuss the situation on Thursday.  He said any action would be a response to the use of chemical weapons, and not intended to draw Western powers further into the Syrian conflict.

French President Francois Hollande says his country is ready to punish those who made the "vile" decision to gas innocent people. He also promised France will increase its military support to the main Syrian opposition group.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned of a "forceful" response if Syria makes any attempt to attack Israel.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu denounced the Syrian government's alleged chemical weapon attacks near Damascus as a "crime against humanity" and said it must "not go unanswered."

But China's state news agency Xinhua cautioned against a rush to military action. In a Tuesday commentary, it said the world should remember that the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq followed U.S. allegations that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Those weapons were never found.

You May Like

Multimedia Brussels Schools, Metro Reopen Under Heavy Guard

City remains under the highest threat alert level due to what authorities have described as a 'serious and imminent' threat of attack

Video Debt-ridden Refugees Await Onslaught of Lebanese Winter

Aid agencies are attempting to reduce potentially devastating consequences of freezing conditions and snowstorms that killed eight last year, including three Syrian refugees

Americans Think About Strange Stuff at Thanksgiving

Millions of Americans are celebrating Thanksgiving, but they’re not necessarily thinking about turkey and stuffing

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Ivan from: russia
August 28, 2013 8:07 AM
Head of group UNO on a chemical weapon in Syria of Carl Del Ponte n an interview declared Swiss television, that her employees had polled witnesses both in Damask and taken out on treatment abroad. The obtained data testify that the poison substances of August, 21 in the suburbs of the Syrian capital were applied by hits and not governmental troops.

"Our investigators visited nearby countries and polled victims, doctors and employees of ambulances... their certificates give strong, very strong suspicions, but yet not irrefutable proofs of the use of gas sarin... and he was used from the side of opposition, insurgents, but not state public agents", - said Del Ponde

The utterance of head to the special group of UN the row of info agency simply ignored. In many western MASS-MEDIA statement of Carlo Del Ponde consider not differently as "eccentric" and bind him to the early scandalous utterances of former public prosecutor of the International tribunal of UNO on Yugoslavia and Rwanda.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against ISi
November 24, 2015 3:04 AM
The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

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 Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

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.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs