News / Middle East

UN to Investigate Chemical Weapons Allegations in Syria

A photo of the Syrian village of Khan al-Assal, near where forces loyal President Bashar al-Assad say chemical weapon attack occurred on March 19.
A photo of the Syrian village of Khan al-Assal, near where forces loyal President Bashar al-Assad say chemical weapon attack occurred on March 19.
TEXT SIZE - +
Reuters
— Syria has agreed to allow U.N. inspectors to visit three sites to investigate accusations of chemical weapons use during the country's 2-year-old civil war, the United Nations said on Wednesday.
 
The head of a U.N. chemical weapons investigation team, Ake Sellstrom, and the head of the U.N. Office of Disarmament Affairs, Angela Kane, visited Damascus last week at the invitation of the Syrian government to discuss access.
 
“On the basis of the information evaluated by the mission to date and further to the understanding reached with the Government of Syria, the Mission will travel to Syria as soon as possible to contemporaneously investigate three of the reported incidents, including Khan al-Assal,” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's press office said in a statement.
 
The United Nations did not identify the other two locations to be visited by investigators.
 
Damascus had refused to let U.N. investigators go anywhere except Khan al-Assal in Aleppo province, where Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government and its ally Russia say rebels used chemical weapons in March.
 
Ban has insisted that his team be permitted to visit at least one other location, the city of Homs, site of an alleged chemical attack by government forces in December 2012.
 
Both sides deny using chemical weapons. The United Nations has received 13 reports of alleged chemical weapons use in Syria. The U.N. investigation will only try to establish if chemical weapons were used, not who used them.
 
The United Nations says more than 100,000 people have been killed since Syria's civil war erupted, pitting Assad's forces against rebels seeking to end his family's four-decade rule.
 
Nearly 1.8 million Syrians have fled the country, two-thirds of those since the start of the year, and more than 4.2 million people have been internally displaced, the United Nations has said. Most of those in need are women and children.

You May Like

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Open Source Seeds Hit the Market, Raise Awareness

First open source seeds include 29 new varieties of broccoli, celery, kale, quinoa and other vegetables and grains More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
August 01, 2013 12:46 PM
Another gimmick to buy time. Assad is gaining on the opposition, now he's cock sure of victory. The proceedings have been left in the hands of terrorists for a long time, what is the UN going to do again when terrorists have taken root. The report will be out when half of the population has been killed. This investigation is coming...too late

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid