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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants 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.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs