News / Middle East

    Russia, France Split on Syria Arms Report

    Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (R) and his French counterpart, Laurent Fabius, are seen at a news conference in Moscow, September 17, 2013.
    Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (R) and his French counterpart, Laurent Fabius, are seen at a news conference in Moscow, September 17, 2013.
    Russia is still saying that Syrian rebels were responsible for a chemical weapons attack outside Damascus on August 21. The news comes after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met with his French counterpart Laurent Fabius in Moscow Tuesday to discuss the issue.

    Russia has serious grounds to believe that the attack was a provocation by the opponents of President Bashar al-Assad, Lavrov said. He added that the event must be "impartially, objectively, professionally investigated."

    Lavrov said that there hasn’t been enough evidence presented proving that only the Syrian government could have carried out the attack.

    The comments by Russia’s foreign minister come a day after a United Nations report cited clear and convincing evidence that the nerve agent sarin was used in the attack that the U.S. says killed 1,400 people, 400 of them children.

    Lavrov’s French counterpart, Laurent Fabius, said Tuesday he has no doubts that Syria's government was responsible for the attack.

    Fabius said that if people were to look at the amount of sarin used in the attack, the equipment that was needed and the targets, there is no doubt the Syrian regime is behind the August 21 attack.

    Lavrov had intended to host his French counterpart in order to come to some sort of an agreement on a U.N. resolution for the removal of Syria’s chemical weapons.

    Moscow has refused to support a U.N. resolution backed by the U.S., France and Britain that would call for severe consequences if Damascus refuses to hand over its chemical weapons to the international community for dismantling.

    Meanwhile, the Syrian government says it will adhere to an agreement between Moscow and Washington that it will hand over a full account of its chemical weapons.

    The Kremlin has refused to back several rounds of sanctions against its Middle Eastern ally, maintaining dialogue with both sides is necessary for peace. Moscow also continues to sell arms to Damascus, although Russian President Vladimir Putin maintains none of them can be used in a civil conflict.

    You May Like

    Brexit Vote Triggers Increase in Racist Attacks

    Britain's decision to leave European Union seen by some as 'permission' to unleash anti-immigrant resentment

    Russian Military Tests Readiness With Snap Inspections

    Some observers see surprise drill as tit-for-tat response to NATO’s recent multinational military exercises in Baltic region

    AIIB Takes Big Strides Amid Fears About China's Dominance

    Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank says it is independent, but concerns persist; China holds 20.6 percent of bank's shares, others have less than 7.5 percent each

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Igor from: Russia
    September 17, 2013 10:55 PM
    Of course the terrorist rebels was able to launch the chemical attack because many of them used to belong to Syrian Army and a lot of Syrian weapons and ammunitions (including chemical weapons) have been lost to them during the war. Also, the rebels received weapons illegally from some of their sponsors such as France, the USA, The UK, Turkey. No one can be sure that such capable countries did not help the rebels to frame up the chemical attack to blame Syrian government for it. So that they can have a pretext to strike Syria. We should study the motive of each participant to come to a conclusion.

    by: Anonymous
    September 17, 2013 7:54 PM
    Well of COURSE Russia is going to say the rebels did it. The Russians would not want to be partially LIABLE for providing the chemical weapons that assad has. They will fight it til to the end even if red handed.

    by: Anonymous
    September 17, 2013 1:02 PM
    I would put money on the fact bashar al assad was likely set up with his chemicals by the Russians. It is for this reason that Putin is being overly nice to assad, forgiving him for murdering nearly 100,000 civilians. Because Putin probably doesn't want bashar al assad to open his mouth to the west. Putin may be afraid of the secrets bashar al assad knows, and could spell trouble for Putin. Perhaps this is why Putin will do ANYTHING to not prosecute bashar al assad for any crimes whatsoever, no matter how many civilians he murders.

    Putins behaviour is disgusting before the world.

    by: Yoshiyuki Fudemoto from: 1-3-4 Shoujihigashi
    September 17, 2013 8:34 AM
    These few days, I think,a great achievement for the U.S foreign
    policy in the Middle East, the accord with Russia in Geneva,signed
    by Mr.Kerry and the Russian counterpart,Mr.Lavcolf shall a big step
    foward to the peace and stablity for the region,Yoshiyuki Fudemoto,Osaka,Japan

    by: Ramnarayan from: Florida, USA
    September 17, 2013 6:41 AM
    Yes, we all knew that attack happened. Now, can we have the truth about who are all responsible please. No sound bites, no pre judging, but believable truth only. Then let us talk about punishing ALL the culprits, whoever they may be and their supporters. Our leaders could learn the meaning benefit of doubt or innocent until proven guilty, the later drives our way of life in the Western world.
    In Response

    by: atlas from: uk
    September 19, 2013 7:41 AM
    more to the point. Why is u.s.a and Israel not being prosecuted for their crimes. they used prohibited substances here and there against weak nations. starting from Vietnam etc....... one rule for one another rule for another.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmarki
    X
    John Owens
    June 26, 2016 2:04 PM
    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora