U.N. Inspectors Under Sniper Fire in Syria

No one was injured in the convoy on its way to investigate claims of chemical-weapons use

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Unidentified snipers opened fire Monday on a U.N. convoy in Syria that was on its way to inspect claims that government forces used chemical weapons against civilians last week, the U.N. said.

No one on the inspection team was injured, but the lead vehicle was damaged and the team returned to a checkpoint to replace it. The U.N. inspectors then plan to continue their journey to the site where rebel fighters claim the government fired gas-armed rockets to kill hundreds of people on Wednesday. The government of Bashar Assad has denied using chemical weapons and granted the inspectors access to the site on Sunday, though only days after experts say the inspection would have borne more fruit.

The U.N. said on its website that the convoy “was deliberately shot at multiple times by unidentified snipers in the buffer zone area.”

“It has to be stressed again that all sides need to extend their cooperation so that the Team can safely carry out their important work,” the U.N. said.

Syrian state-run television blamed opposition “terrorists” for firing on the inspectors. The attack being investigated was among the deadliest in the more than two-year-long civil war, and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said the use of chemical weapons, if true, would amount to crimes against humanity. U.S. and other Western governments are increasingly considering military intervention in the wake of the attack.

[CNN]

31 comments
Ash Corleone
Ash Corleone

Dindt change car those people were just eyeing for and excuse to use chemical tool

Louise Noyb
Louise Noyb

Neither side is to be trusted. One thing is certain innocents are pawns in this civil war.

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

Lavrov: Claims that Syrian government used chemical weapons unsubstantiated

Aug 26, 2013

Moscow, (SANA)_Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov said that the accusations leveled at the Syrian government of using chemical weapons are null and aimed at finding a pretext for using force against Syria.

''Washington, London and Paris have made official statements claiming that they have powerful evidence that incriminate the Syrian authorities, but have failed so far to substantiate their claims, '' Lavrov said during a press conference in the Russian capital, Moscow on Monday.

''[They] are ratcheting up rhetoric and say a red line has been overstepped and that there should not be procrastination about it,'' added Lavrov.

''These statements contravene the agreements reached by the G8 leaders during their summit last June which stressed that any case involving the use of chemical weapons must be investigated in detail and that the findings be submitted to the UN Security Council .''

''Today, those same participants in the summit are backsliding on the agreement and are in fact assuming the role of investigators and the role of the Security Council,'' the Russian FM added.

Lavrov indicated that experts from Britain, France, Russia and other Western states have contested the veracity of the footages circulated on the internet to implicate the Syrian government of using chemical weapons, pointing to information that the footages had been published hours before the announcement of a chemical attack on August 21.

''Those who are seeking the use of force against Syria have not so far consented to an agreement reached between the Syrian government and UN experts for visiting the sites where an alleged chemical weapons attack occurred.''

''Why do these sides rebuff the agreements and claim they are overdue? And why did not our Western partners speak in the same fashion regarding an investigation into a chemical weapons use in Khan all-Assal area in Aleppo countryside last Spring?''

Lavrov said that media leaks on a use of chemical weapons coincided with preparations for a Russian-US new meeting to pave the way for the international conference on Syria due to be convened in Geneva in what was apparently ''intended to wreck the efforts for convening the conference .''

''Unlike the Syrian government which has agreed to dispatching a delegation to Geneva without preconditions, the Syrian opposition has yet to agree to a similar step five months later,'' Lavrov said, calling for clarifying the signals that the Syrian opposition is receiving from its sponsors.

Lavrov added that the US is committed to the idea of convening the conference and is dealing with the Syrian opposition as revealed by a phone call with the US Secretary of State, John Kerry yesterday.

He called for coordinated steps to send signals to all opposition sides that there is no alternatives to settlement through political dialogue and Geneva 2.

Lavrov also called on the Syrian government and opposition to join efforts in the battle against terrorism, expressing conviction that efforts must be exerted to that end with the participation of the G8 and UN member states away from the threats of using force

''The use of force in Iraq and Libya has incurred dire consequences and there have been no security, stability or improvement in living conditions in the region. Quite the contrary; we are witnessing a state of unprecedented instability, and urge everyone to be patient and responsible and not to repeat the mistakes of the past,'' Lavrov pointed out. 

http://sana.sy/eng/22/2013/08/26/499325.htm

Michael Joniaux
Michael Joniaux

WHere did I mention alex jones?? this is an article from Yahoo, therefore your argument is void.

Jerry Pecks
Jerry Pecks

You are a conspiracy hound, forever suckling at the teet of Alex Jones. Enjoy obscurity and irrelevance.

Peter Laszlo
Peter Laszlo

This is a good example why the U.N. Inspectors had to wait five days to enter the war zone to inspect claims of chemical weapons use.

Lagrace Nua
Lagrace Nua

Us Bombing Syria isn't going to resolve anything..there's bloody children's there! Resolve violence with more violence?? Aren't there enough dead parents and kids already there..there's has to be another way! :(

Gun Gunawan
Gun Gunawan

It's okay for Israel to use White Phosphorus against Palestinians? UN should be an impartial mediator for the world peace.

Sameh Jowda Salem
Sameh Jowda Salem

يوان بعد سنتين r u searing for animals to risk i wonder investigating after two years of killing

Lakshmi Prasad Subedi
Lakshmi Prasad Subedi

The UN itself is a culprit. It may not have to wait for chemical weapons, killings of 1 lakh Syrians is not sufficient for intervention (though I am neutral about intervention, but waiting to come to equilibrium)!!!

Steven Mallett
Steven Mallett

SPOILER ALERT: America isn't the only place in the word with a gun problem. [i.e. people who have them, but shouldn't]

NewsDogReports
NewsDogReports

Thats better TIME. Finnally a real news story. But don't just gloss over it. get to the truth... and teh question of who are the rebels can they be trusted? Who did this attack? don;t just take some UN official or some US senators word for it. Get someone from the scene?

Lee Xpress
Lee Xpress

Dear people in USA and Europe who care Syria and want to go at war to help Al Qaida in Syria , if you care about your government as like as you care about Syria , then all of you would not have to suffer from economic hardship that you are suffering now from Global downturn !

Edin Praga
Edin Praga

First The attack allegedly took place at the site under the control of insurgents. Rebels are two days to let anyone out there approached. These are explicitly told. The Government of Syria, which has no control over the area requested permission to go there. It is as if the Prime Minister ask permission to go to Gracanica, a so-called government. "Kosovo" do not ask anything. 2nd UN inspectors targeted when they came to the area controlled by the rebels. I guess it's the same government of Syria to blame. You are suppose to send an army with them to act as human shields. I think it's pretty clear who will bring the truth.

Kevin Lacy
Kevin Lacy

Wow -really, UN inspectors finally - after almost 2 decades - going after Saddam's chemical stash.

falcon269
falcon269

Yes, let's send arms to the opposition, so that their sniper fire can be more frequent and more accurate.

romano70
romano70

ugh...who are the idiots who wants getting into this cluster?

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

@Louise Noyb 

Only government forces is one side of the conflict, and the terrorists are disparate grouping (sometimes warring among themselves), as locust from all over the world flocked together - is the other side.

The representative of the United Nations Commission on human rights in the middle East emphasized that the composition of the armed Syrian opposition are only 5 % of the Syrians, all the rest of mercenaries from different countries.   This was also reported  German intelligence: 95% of the rebels in Syria are foreigners. Berlin (IRIB) – The BND admitted that only 5% of armed terrorists in Syria Syrians are really, 95% of them are from abroad.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZd5O88wWf4

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

@falcon269 

External assistance to the opposition, which leads the armed struggle against the legitimate government, is a gross violation of fundamental rules of international law. In the Declaration on principles of international law, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1970, it is noted, in particular, that no state shall organize, assist, and financing of armed actions aimed at the violent overthrow of the regime of another state.

S.V.Lavrov: «Arming Syrian Opposition Contradicts the International law»

 

zach1
zach1

@falcon269just for the record the Syrian Regime reported that it was sniper fire from the opposition, considering the fact that the inspectors are there to investigate chemical weapon attacks, which would have been used by the gov't of Syria, it's more likely that the Syrian Gov't is trying to scare off the chemical weapons inspectors, however I agree with your general point that it isn't ok to send weapons into syria.