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

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

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.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid