News / Middle East

US Ponders Possible Action Against Syria

Free Syrian Army fighters run for cover from snipers loyal to Syria's President Bashar Al-Assad in Deir al-Zor, August 23, 2013.
Free Syrian Army fighters run for cover from snipers loyal to Syria's President Bashar Al-Assad in Deir al-Zor, August 23, 2013.
VOA News
A White House official says the U.S. has a "range of options" if it decides to act against Syria's alleged use of chemical weapons.

The official commented on Saturday as President Barack Obama met with his top national security advisers to discuss the Syrian government's alleged use of chemical weapons on civilians in a Damascus suburb.

Obama has previously expressed reluctance to any U.S. troop presence in Syria.

However, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has strongly suggested that the U.S. is moving naval forces into place in the region in anticipation of any decision the president may make concerning Syria.

Hagel told reporters Obama has asked the Defense Department for a range of options if he chooses to launch an attack on the Damascus government.

The Pentagon chief was speaking on Friday, a defense official said the U.S. Navy is expanding its presence in the Mediterranean, sending in a fourth warship armed with cruise missiles.

The U.S. and other world powers have been pushing for a United Nations-led investigation of the chemical-weapons allegations, and a top U.N. official arrived in Damascus Saturday to push for access to the site where rockets loaded with poison gas were launched.


A citizen journalism image provided by the Local Committee of Arbeen shows Syrian citizens trying to identify dead bodies, after an alleged poison gas attack by government forces.A citizen journalism image provided by the Local Committee of Arbeen shows Syrian citizens trying to identify dead bodies, after an alleged poison gas attack by government forces.
x
A citizen journalism image provided by the Local Committee of Arbeen shows Syrian citizens trying to identify dead bodies, after an alleged poison gas attack by government forces.
A citizen journalism image provided by the Local Committee of Arbeen shows Syrian citizens trying to identify dead bodies, after an alleged poison gas attack by government forces.
The U.N. high representative for disarmament affairs, Angela Kane, is seeking an investigation of the incident. The Syrian government denies that it used any chemical weapons against rebels who have been fighting against the government of President Bashar al-Assad for more than two years. Many international leaders say they suspect the Syrian government is guilty of using banned chamical weapons, but Russia has spoken out in defense of the Assad regime.

Syrian opposition leaders and activists have released video of large numbers of bodies - many of them young children - that bear no signs of physical violence of blood. Those pictures, and separate scenes from hospitals showing patients writhing in agony without apparent wounds - are said to be persuasive indications that they were victims of a attack that used nerve gas or some other deadly chemical agent.

The government says any blame lies with the rebel side. The state-run SANA news agency reports a number of soldiers suffocated and died Saturday in a Damascus neighborhood where "armed terrorists used chemical weapons."

The news agency said the "terrorists" were engaging in "violent clashes" in the area.

Russia and China have joined the U.S., Francer, Britain and other Western powers in calling for a thorough investigation of the recent events in Syria.

Although Russia was quick to endorse the Syrian government charge that rebels used poison gas on their own supporters, Moscow's foreign ministry also has called on Syria to cooperate with the U.N.

Iran's new president, Hassan Rouhani, has for the first time condemned the use of chemical weapons in Syria. State-controlled media in Tehran report he did not assess blame against either side in his comments on Saturday. Iran is Syria's ally, and its foreign ministry has previously said evidence indicates that Syrian rebels launched the attack.

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ponderosa
August 25, 2013 3:27 PM
Whilst civillians in Syria have been been dying in large numbers the United Nations has not been decisive enough to take proper and corrective action. The International Court in the Hague should also
have taken action. Collectively they have failed to act promptly as they have also done in Africa, and the humanitarian crises continue.


by: van from: vietnam
August 24, 2013 12:47 PM
Putin has already said noone is allowed to touch Syria. And I believe the US and Nato will never dare to touch Syria. What a shame!
Russia dare to separate Georgia into Ahkadia and Ossestia .Why can’t the US and Nato divide Syria into separated zone, this will lead to the cease of the civil war in Syria.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid