News / Middle East

US Investigating Chemical Weapons Reported in Syria

President Obama at news conference in Jerusalem, Mar. 20, 2013
President Obama at news conference in Jerusalem, Mar. 20, 2013
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States will thoroughly investigate reports of chemical weapons use in Syria.

Speaking in Jerusalem Wednesday, Obama said any use of chemical weapons would be a "tragic mistake," adding that the administration was "deeply skeptical" of claims that rebel forces used them.

Earlier, the U.S. ambassador to Syria told the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee that the United States has no evidence to support charges chemical weapons were used this week in northern Syria.

In New York, the U.S. joined Britain and France in calling on the United Nations to investigate the allegations.  

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad claims that rebels used chemical weapons near Aleppo, while the rebels say Assad forces were responsible.

Related video report by Cindy Saine
US Lawmakers Debate Moves to End Syria Conflicti
X
March 21, 2013 1:58 AM
U.S. officials say they are looking very carefully at reports that chemical weapons were used in Syria this week. U.S. ambassador to Syria Robert Ford made the disclosure on Wednesday during testimony to a Congressional committee, but added the administration has so far seen no evidence to substantiate the claims. At the same hearing, a number of lawmakers on the House Foreign Affairs Committee pressed the ambassador on whether the United States should do more to try to end the Syrian conflict that has killed an estimated 70,000 people. VOA's Cindy Saine has more.
The Assad government has already asked United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to investigate the alleged use of chemical weapons.  The Syrian opposition also wants an independent investigation.

In London, British Prime Minister David Cameron told parliament reports of a chemical attack in Syria strengthened the case for relaxing a European Union arms embargo on the country.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.

You May Like

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

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

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Igor from: Russia
March 21, 2013 1:44 AM
Barack Obama says the United States will thoroughly investigate reports of chemical weapons use in Syria. The problem is whether the USA is eligible for carrying out such an investivation and then declare the result because the USA is an ally of those terrorist groups who are fighting Syrian government. So what the USA is doing indeed now is trying to frame up evidence to blame Syrian government for such an attack. The west and Israel will have an excellent excuse to intervine in and overthrow Syrian government. A dirty trick which has been applied so many times before. The chemical rocket may be launched by the terrorists and their teacher will conduct an investigation and then Assad will be blamed for that. Hey Obama, we can see you through!


by: kanaikaalirumporai
March 20, 2013 6:48 PM
Yes!, He'd be preparing to look into and even plant evidence to implicate Assad, for the regime is at present is not a friend of the US, but in other cases, like the one VOA deliberately omitted commenting possibility titled " Sri Lanka's Ex-Army Head Ready to Face Allegations of War Crimes", where such weapons have in deed been employed, the response by this same US administration is a different, because the use was actually sanctioned by the US and it's current ally against China, the Indian Union. If it's Assad or Saddam Hussain or even Ahmadinejad(who are really evil), evidence may even be planted for the purpose, but if the culprit is either Israel, or Sri Lanka or anybody who can suit the thinking, then they will be allowed to do their own investigations, trial and the verdict(if there ever be any guilt) for their alleged crimes. In other words, the guilty being allowed to punish himself. A wonderful justice system!, like Mr. Obama the wonderful himself!


by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
March 20, 2013 3:50 PM
More and more it looks like the Assad gvmt is testing the international response to a Chemical or Biological weapon's use. I hope the international community has provided emergency protective gear and antidote serums/antibiotic/ antiviral agents, so that the medical NGO's can help themselves and civilians, should a full blown Chem or Bio attack take place.
The sit in Syria continues to deterriorate for trapped civilians, and even external and internal refugees. There is no question that NGOs need more resources, I hope the international promises made, wrt resources, do materialize, so that the victims of the Syrian civil war can be helped.


by: Dolmatia from: Germany
March 20, 2013 3:47 PM
Chemical weapons may have bee used in Syria - but by whom...??
It is far more likely that it has been used by Al Nusra (Muslim Brotherhood) to target civilians... the same way they have propagated their lies in Gaza, Kosovo, Bosnia, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq....


by: Martin from: UK
March 20, 2013 3:37 PM
this allegation of "chemical weapons" attacks in Syria... is a risky strategic move by the Muslim Brotherhood. if it proves to be another one of their lies (of which many have been confirmed lies) they risk total alienation by the nations they hope to recruit for their cause... if it proves true, and still non comes to their aid... that means that they have been exposed for what they really are... which is a terrorist jihadist organization that must be eradicated... civilized society can not coexist with Jihadist ideology... one or the other has to be dead

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
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 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 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 Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
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