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.

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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.

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