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Syria Blog

Updates on the situation in Syria, as attacks on ISIL by the US and its allies add a new dimension to the civil war that began in 2011 and has killed more than 190,000 people.


  • As the fighting continues in Syria, so does the suffering of its people.

    Food, water and medicine are in short supply and with winter approaching, charities are warning of a humanitarian disaster.

    Al Jazeera's James Bays talks to Executive Director of WFP Ertharin Cousin.

  • Medical aid is running desperately low in Syria, forcing doctors to use industrial pipes and valves for treating broken limbs. The international aid organisation Medecins Sans Frontiers says the public health-care system has collapsed, with hospitals and doctors often under attack by both sides of the conflict.

    An Al Jazeera film crew has been in Ghouta to see how doctors there are coping.

  • UN leader Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday pressed the major powers to overcome differences on the Syria war amid difficult talks on a UN Security Council resolution on Syria's chemical arms.

    Countries suffering the refugee fallout from the 30-month-old conflict separately made pleas for help to cope with growing numbers of fleeing Syrians.

    Ban hosted a lunch with the foreign ministers of the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France -- the permanent Security Council members -- to put across his message, UN officials said.

    The meeting discussed a Russia-US plan to destroy President Bashar al-Assad's chemical weapon arsenal, said UN spokesman Martin Nesirky.

    [AFP]
  • The UN says chemical weapons experts who returned to Syria will be investigating three alleged incidents of chemical weapons use earlier this year and seeking information on three alleged incidents last month.

    The inspectors reported last week that the deadly nerve agent sarin was used in an Aug. 21 attack outside Damascus.

    UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said Wednesday the mission will also discuss with the Syrian government "information that it may possess regarding allegations it reported on the use of chemical weapons'' in incidents on the following days - Aug. 22, 24 and 25.

    He said the inspectors will visit the village of Khan al-Assal near Aleppo to probe a March 19 incident and two other sites.

    The inspectors identified them in last week's report as Sheik Maqsood and Saraqeb.

    [AP]

  • The British government has announced a further 100 million pounds ($160.7 million) in humanitarian funding to help bring food, water and medicine to those affected by Syria's civil war.

    Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced the funding on Wednesday on the 
    sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, saying that as the international community seeks a political solution to the crisis, it mustn't ignore the needs of ordinary Syrians.

    He said there is a "huge gap" in humanitarian funding for Syria and 
    urged other nations present at the assembly to meet the shortfall.

    The new funding means Britain has now committed 500 million pounds to the 
    Syrian humanitarian crisis.

    One day earlier, the U.
    S. announced $339 million in additional humanitarian aid to refugees and countries affected by the war.

    [AP]

  • Fighting in Syria between regime troops and rebels are raging in different parts of the country, especially in the south, where opposition fighters are battling to seize control of the border crossing with Jordan.

    Opposition activists told Al Jazeera on Wednesday that the fighters were now "in control of most of Ramtha post" in the southern province of Deraa.

    Read Wednesday's developments in Syria here


  • by AJE Staff

    A man cleans one of the vehicles of the UN chemical weapons investigation team,
    following their arrival in the
    Syrian capital Damascus, ahead of new investigations into the use of the banned arms.
    [AFP]


  • Russia's deputy foreign minister says agreement on a UN Security Council resolution requiring Syria to dismantle its chemical weapons stockpiles is likely in the next two days.

    Gennady Gatilov told The Associated Press that the text of the resolution will include a reference to Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which includes military and nonmilitary actions to promote peace and
    security.


    But he stressed that there will not be an automatic trigger for Chapter 7 measures, which means another Security Council resolution will be required if Syria fails to comply.

    The U.S. and Russia had been at odds on how to enforce the resolution. 

    Britain's U
    N Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant told the AP he expects the remaining differences to be worked out "in the next few days". -AP

  • by AJE Staff

    Western envoys tout Syria draft deal, but Russia says work ongoing

    The US, Russia, France, China and Britain have finally agreed on the core of a UN Security Council resolution to rid Syria of its chemical weapons, three Western diplomats have said.

    However, Russia denied  on Wednesday that such an agreement and insisted work was "still going on."

    The development came after the foreign ministers of the five permanent members of the council met over lunch with USecretary General Ban Ki-moon earlier in the day, the diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

    The three diplomats said a draft resolution could be presented to the full 15-nation council soon, and the five permanent members would also meet on Friday to discuss a proposed Syria peace  conference in Geneva.

    "It seems that things are moving forward," said a Western diplomatic source, adding that there was "an agreement among the five on the core".

    "We are closer on all the key points," he said. 

    A third diplomat also suggested that a deal on the draft resolution was within reach.

    But Russia rejected the suggestions.

    "This is just their wishful thinking," the spokesman for Russia's UN delegation said. "It is not the reality. The work on the draft resolution is still going on."

    A US official cited progress while cautioning that there was still work to be done. - Reuters
  • Britain's UN Ambassador has reported progress in UN Permanent Security Council permanent members' talks on the crisis in Syria.

    "We are still working in the P-5 constructively on a text,'' Mark Lyall Grant told AP.
     
    "But there are still some differences,'' Lyall Grant said. 

    "We hope to be able to iron them out, maybe even today, but certainly in the next few days so that we can adopt a resolution - a strong binding enforceable resolution with a united voice of the Security Council as soon as possible.''

    A US official,  speaking on condition of anonymity because negotiations are continuing, said
    the two sides were "very, very close'' and the U
    S "fully expects to have a resolution by the end of the week.'' -  AP


  • by AJE Staff
    Arms sent to Syrian rebels worry Iraq

    Iraq's foreign minister has said outside nations should not supply weapons to any of Syria's rebels for fear they could fall into the hands of extremist or  terror groups.

    Iraq has long urged other countries against meddling in the 2 ½ year civil war to its west, even as Baghdad acknowledges that the continued fighting has escalated violence in Iraq.

    But Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said Wednesday that nearly 10,000 foreign fighters have joined Syria's rebel opposition. He said foreign military aid could help jihadist groups that are fighting among Syrian rebels against President Bashar Assad's regime.

    The US began sending small arms to the Syrian opposition within the past few weeks, and has arranged for anti-tank weapons to be funneled to vetted rebel fighters through allied nations. - AP


  • Blair discusses Middle East peace hopes







  • by AJE Staff

    UN says Lebanon faces social explosion over Syria refugees


    The UN has said that Lebanon faces an explosion of social tensions unless the international community helps to handle hundreds of  thousands of Syrian refugees.

    Lebanon's President Michel Sleiman told foreign ministers from the world's  leading nations on Wednesday that his country faces an "existential crisis" because of the influx fleeing the war between President Bashar al-Assad and opposition rebels.


    He said major financing was needed to pay for the refugees, reinforce  public services because of the burden and bolster the army.

    The Syria conflict will cost Lebanon $7.5 billion from 2012 to 2014, according to an estimate given by
    World Bank president Jim Yong Kim to the
    meeting held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

    The UN says there are already 760,000 Syrians registered in Lebanon and  there will be one million by the end of the year. 

    Lebanon's government
    estimates there are already 1.2 million with many not bothering to register.

    It is says there will soon be a strain on electricity supplies and is  having to start school  lessons by shifts to cope with an extra 90,000 Syrian children. 

    Kim said that by the end of 2014 there could be 200,000-300,000 more Lebanese unemployed which would double the unemployment rate to more than 20 percent.

    "Without question social tensions could increase as competition for jobs and services intensifies,"
    he said.

    "If we do not act decisively, now and fast, the Lebanon that we know today will not resemble the Lebanon that we will see tomorrow." 

    Antonio Guterres, UN high commissioner for refugees said: "I do not recall any country having suffered a more dramatic impact in its economy and in its society by an inflow of refugees than Lebanon today."

    Guterres and other officials and ministers praised the "the extreme generosity" of Lebanon in keeping its borders open to refugees during the 30-month-old war.

    He said Lebanon "has been to a large extent left alone by the international community and this needs to change". - AFP [Photo: Reuters/ Jamal Saidi] 



  • Syria's President Assad has not ruled out US attack

    Syrian President Bashar Assad has said 
    by AJE Staff

    that he does not discount the possibility of a US military attack, even though threatened action was forestalled when he agreed to give up chemical weapons.

    Assad said in an interview broadcast by Venezuela's state-run Telesur network on Wednesday that his government had confessions from rebels that they brought chemical weapons into the civil war-wracked nation.

    According to the broadcast's Spanish dubbing, Assad said all evidence pointed to rebel responsibility for the attack.

    He said that Syrian authorities had uncovered chemical arms caches and labs and that the evidence had been turned over to Russia, which brokered the deal that helped persuade US President Barack Obama to pull back from threatened military action over an August 21 gas attack that killed civilians in a Damascus suburb.

    Assad predicted during the 40-minute interview that "terrorists'' would try to block access of Uinspectors who enter Syria to secure the government's chemical arsenal.

    While Assad said he had evidence that countries including Saudi Arabia were arming Syrian rebels, he said he had no proof that any particular country had supplied them with chemical weapons. - AP [Photo: AFP/ SANA]
  • by AJE Staff
    Europeans add $431 million in Syria aid

    Several European countries have announced another $431 million in humanitarian aid for Syria.

    A statement released on Wednesday by the commissioner for international co-operation also expressed "the gravest concern'' at the worsening situation in the country's torn by civil war and said almost half of Syria's population will need humanitarian aid by the end of this year.

    Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Denmark, Luxembourg, Spain, the Netherlands and the European Commission contributed to the new batch of aid.

    The statement called the crisis "unprecedented in its severity this century'' and warned that the financial demands of the countries will last a long time.

    It also said the countries want another aid pledging conference organised "at the earliest possible date". - AP [Photo: Reuters/ Bassam Khabieh]

  • by AJE Staff
    Photo: Nasser Judeh, Jordan's Minister for Foreign Affairs [Reuters]

    A meeting of Ministers responsible for humanitarian aid of countries neighbouring Syria, major donor countries and key humanitarian agencies, took place yesterday in New York.

    Following the meeting, a joint statement was published by Kristalina Georgieva, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, and Nasser Judeh, Jordan's Minister for Foreign Affairs.

    The statement called for a comprehensive UN-led aid strategy in consultation with host countries that includes humanitarian and development and macro-financial support for the millions of Syrians now inside and outside their country.


  • by AJE Staff
    Photo: Lavrov updated Kerry on his findings during their Tuesday meeting [Reuters]

    Speaking in the UN General Assembly, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that Russia has enough evidence to assert that homemade sarin was used on August 21 in a
    chemical attack near Damascus
    , according to a report by Russian news outlets RT:

    "The reports by the journalists who visited the sites, who talked to the combatants, combatants telling the journalists that they were given some unusual rockets and munitions by some foreign country and they didn’t know how to use them. You have also the evidence from the nuns serving in a monastery nearby who visited the site. You can read the evidence and the assessments by the chemical weapons experts who say that the images shown do not correspond to a real situation if chemical weapons were used. And we also know about an open letter sent to President Obama by former operatives of the CIA and the Pentagon saying that the assertion that it was the government that used the chemical weapons was a fake."

    Lavrov emphasized that Russia stands fully committed to implementing the Geneva framework of September 14, a bilateral agreement with the United States to move forward with the destruction of Syrian chemical weapons stockpiles under the Chemical Weapons Organization’s supervision.


  • by AJE Staff
    Photo: Syrian women at a refugee camp in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley [Reuters]

    Lebanon is the country that is bearing the brunt of the economic and social spillovers of the Syrian conflict, according to an assessment conducted by the World Bank.

    The report states that the number of refugees in Lebanon is now approaching one million, or 22 percent of the population, and that the ongoing conflict and flow of refugees will result in huge losses in trade and tourism for Lebanon and raise both poverty and unemployment rates.

    “I have thanked President Michel Sleiman for Lebanon’s generosity, and discussed with him how the World Bank and the international community can step up and do their part, so that Lebanon does not shoulder the costs alone,” said World Bank Group President, Jim Yong Kim on Tuesday.

  • by AJE Staff
    Photo: WFP's cutbacks will likely hurt many Syrian refugees in Lebanon [AFP]

    The United Nations World Food Programme has announced it would drop hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees from its food aid programme in Lebanon.

    Lynne Miller, head of the WFP in Lebanon, said on Tuesday that about 30 percent of Syrian refugees in Lebanon would no longer receive food vouchers from the programme as it tries to allocate scarce resources to those who most need help.

    Miller said the decision was made after an assessment determined that those refugees can meet their needs through other avenues and do not require food aid from WFP.

    “Humanitarian assistance is always targeted to those most in need, so no U.N. assistance is made to be given to an entire population,” Miller said.

    Under the current system, Syrian refugees receive $27 worth of food vouchers from the WFP every month which they can redeem for food at shops. The change will likely deal a blow to many refugees struggling to make ends meet in Lebanon, where there are no formal camps to provide a safety net, as in Jordan and Turkey.

    The United Nations says it has received only 27 percent of the international aid it requested from international donors last year to help Syrian refugees across the Middle East.

    -- Reuters
  • by AJE Staff
    Photo: Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov [AFP]

    Russia says it is ready to help ensure security for the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons.

    Russian news agencies quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov confirming that Russia would help guard the facilities where the weapons are being destroyed.

    Ryabkov, speaking Thursday during an arms exhibition in Nizhny Tagil, said he hoped that other members of the Collective Security Treaty OrganiSation would also participate. The organization includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

    UN inspectors returned to Syria on Wednesday to continue investigating three incidents of suspected chemical weapons use this year.

    -- AP
  • by AJE Staff
    Photo: Syrian refugees begging for change on the streets of Yemen [Reuters]

    Fleeing the civil war in Syria, Yosra Mustafa and her family crossed into Turkey, but found life there too expensive.
    They tried their luck with Jordan, but were refused entry. Lebanon came to nothing. 

    Never would they have expected to end up in Yemen, one of the world's poorest countries.

    "There is nowhere else to go to now. We're begging on the streets," said Mustafa, who, dressed in black from head to toe, stationed herself at one of Sanaa's main thoroughfares hoping cars would slow down to pay her a few Yemeni riyals.

    "It's cheaper here. People are kind and honourable," the elderly woman told Reuters.

    UNHCR says there are about 900 registered Syrian refugees in Yemen, the bulk of whom have arrived this year, and settled in the capital Sanaa, followed by the southern hub of Aden.

    -- Reuters



  • A mortar shell hit the Iraqi consulate in the Syrian capital Damascus on Thursday, killing an
    Iraqi woman and wounding four other people, witnesses said.

    It was not clear whether the consulate - which is located in the upscale al-Maliki neighbourhood near the United States and Chinese embassies - had been deliberately targeted.

    A guard at the consulate said he had been on duty when the woman was killed. "I helped carry her to the ambulance. She was limp and covered with a coat," he said.

    A mortar shell landed in the Russian embassy compound in central Damascus on Sunday, wounding three people.

    -- Reuters and AP
  • Listening Post - Syria: The propaganda blitz
    by AlJazeeraEnglish on 4:09 PM yesterday

  • Brazil is going to grant special visas to Syrians who want to leave their conflict-wracked nation, the Washington Post reports.

    Brazil’s National Committee for Refugees authorized the foreign ministry to issue the visas for “humanitarian reasons”, the government’s official gazette announced on Tuesday.

    To read the full article click here.

  • US Secretary of State John Kerry and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi agreed in talks on Thursday on the need for a UN Security Council resolution on Syria, a US official said.

    Kerry and Wang "were in strong agreement" on the need to act quickly for "a mandatory and binding UN Security Council resolution," the official said.

    [AFP]
  • A young man once jailed for smuggling weapons for the Toronto 18 terror plot to attack Canada's parliament and other targets has been killed in Syria, local media said Thursday.

    Somalia-born Canadian Ali Mohamed Dirie reportedly left Canada after his release from prison in 2011 to join rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

    The daily Toronto Star and other newspapers cited unnamed security and Toronto Muslim community sources as saying that Dirie had been killed in the civil war that has claimed more than 110,000 lives, including at least 100 Canadians who left for Syria in the past year.

    Dirie was arrested in 2005 at the US border trying to re-enter Canada with two loaded handguns taped to his thighs, and pleaded guilty to importing and possessing firearms and ammunition.

    The so-called "Toronto 18" suspects were arrested the following year for plotting to attack parliament, a nuclear power plant, the Toronto stock exchange and other targets using fertilizer explosives packed in rented vans.

    Their plot was foiled when members of the group sought to purchase three tonnes of the bomb-making ingredient ammonium nitrate from undercover police officers, who had switched it with an inert substance.

    [AFP]
  • Diplomats at the United Nations say the five permanent members of the divided UN Security Council appear to have reached agreement on a resolution to require Syria to dismantle its chemical weapons stockpiles.

    Their comments on Thursday came a day after Russia's deputy foreign minister said negotiators had overcome a major hurdle and agreed that the text of the resolution would include a reference to Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which allows for military and nonmilitary actions to promote peace and security.

    The five veto-wielding members of the Security Council have been discussing for weeks what to include in a new resolution requiring that Syria's chemical weapons stockpile be secured and dismantled.

    The US and Russia had been at odds on how to enforce the resolution.

    [AP]
  • Activists say an al-Qaeda commander in Syria has been killed during clashes with Kurdish fighters in northern Syria.

    The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which closely monitors the fighting in Syria, says the commander died on Wednesday night in fighting in the northern province of Aleppo.

    The Britain-based group did not provide the man's name but identified him in a statement on Thursday as a UAE national and the emir - or the commander - of Aleppo.

    On Monday, a top al-Qaeda commander was killed in an ambush by rival Western-backed rebels.
    Infighting between al-Qaeda-linked groups and other, more moderate rebels fighting to topple President Bashar Assad has spiked in recent days.

    [AP]
  • The head of the opposition Syrian Supreme Military Council cut short a visit to France on Thursday and said he would head to Syria for talks with rebel brigades that broke with the Western-backed coalition.

    General Salim Idris, who commands the coalition's military wing known as the Free Syrian Army (FSA), said he would travel to Syria on Friday to meet fighters from the 13 groups which rejected on Tuesday the authority of the Turkey-based coalition.

    The rebel groups, including at least three considered to be under the FSA umbrella, called on Tuesday for the rebel forces to be reorganised under an Islamic framework and to be run only by groups fighting inside Syria.

    "We should deal wisely with their statement. I returned from France so as to follow up with the field commanders and work toward unifying all the ranks," Idriss told Reuters by telephone after arriving in Istanbul.

    FSA spokesman Louay Meqdad said Idriss hoped to solve the grievances of the dissident rebels, who have long been wary of accepting leadership by figures who have spent much of Syria's two-and-a-half-year civil war outside the country.

    "He will meet the brigades that rejected the coalition who are losing hope," Meqdad said. "The coalition maybe were not connected to the ground but now they will communicate and try to resolve this."

    Rebel brigades battling President Bashar Al-Assad are fragmented and increasingly fighting internal conflicts.

    [Reuters]
  • Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's Lebanese ally, Hezbollah, has been fighting alongside Syrian forces.

    The Shia Muslim group's stated policy is to prevent Assad's regime from collapsing.

    But it has paid a heavy political price for its involvement in the neighbour's conflict and is under increasing pressure at home.

    Al Jazeera's Zeina Khodr reports from Beirut.

  • Syria's civil war is threatening some of the oldest cultural heritage sites in the world. Heavy fighting has damaged castles, synagogues and many other precious artifacts.

    So a group of historians and museums have joined forces with the US State Department to try to save them.

    Al Jazeera's Cath Turner reports.

  • A mortar shell from Syria has landed on the dome of a mosque in the Jordanian border town of Ramtha, Al Jazeera's Nisreen El-Shamayleh reported from Ramtha.

    There were no casualties, she said.

    On the Syrian side of the border, fierce fighting was ongoing in Deraa province between President Bashar al-Assad's troops and rebel fighters trying to seize the border crossing.
  • Syrian rebels and al-Qaeda-linked fighters clashed with Kurds in northern Syria on Thursday, activists said.

    The heavy fighting in the town of Atma on the border with Turkey's Hatay province followed outbreaks of internecine conflict between rival rebel forces elsewhere.

    At least 15 fighters had been killed in two days of clashes around Atma, activists said.

    The fighting pits Syrian Kurds, alarmed by what they see as religious fighters' encroachment in northern Syria, against Arab fighters who suspect the Kurds of seeking secession.

    Faced with what they see as a shared Kurdish threat, FSA rebels fought in Atma alongside the Islamic State for Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), an al-Qaeda affiliate, only a week after the two factions fought each other in another border town.

    At least nine ISIL fighters have been killed since the battle erupted on Wednesday in a region between Atma and the Kurdish town of Jindaris, part of the mostly Kurdish olive-growing region of Ifrin.

    Activists in Atma said FSA units had brought heavy guns into the town and started shelling positions to push back Kurdish fighters who had advanced to within sniper range in the surrounding hills.

    They said Kurdish tank shells fired from distance were hitting Atma, while Arab rebel heavy artillery was hitting Jindaris.


    [Reuters]
  • Diplomats at the UN say the five permanent members of the divided Security Council appear to have reached agreement on a resolution to require Syria to dismantle its chemical-weapons stockpiles.

    Al Jazeera's Kristen Saloomey reports from the UN headquarters in New York.

  • Deal reached on UN resolution on Syria weapons

    Britain's UN ambassador says key powers have reached agreement on a  resolution to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons arsenal.

    Mark Lyall Grant tweeted that the five permanent members of the USecurity Council - Britain, France, the US, Russia and China - agreed on a "binding and enforceable draft ... resolution".

    He says Britain will introduce the text to the 10 other members of the Security Council at a meeting on Thursday night.

    The US and Russia had been at odds on how to enforce the resolution. - AP



  • by AJE Staff


    US says 'legally obligating' deal reached on Syria


    After weeks of diplomatic wrangling, the United States and Russia said on Thursday that they had reached an agreement on a UN Security Council resolution aimed at ridding Syria of its chemical weapons.

    Samantha Power,  US ambassador to the United Nations, said on Twitter that a deal was  reached with Russia "legally obligating" Syria to give up its chemical stockpile and the measure would go to the full Security Council on Thursday night.


    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow had reached an understanding with Washington on a chemical weapons resolution. - Reuters [Photo: AFP/ Jim Lopez]


  • Syria 'will implode before there's a victory'
    by AJE Staff

    US Secretary of State John Kerry has said Syria "will implode before any side would claim a military victory" and that all sides needed to move rapidly to put a political solution in place to end the conflict.

    Kerry was speaking at a Friends of Syria meeting on the sidelines of the annual gathering of world leaders at the UN on Thursday. - Reuters [ Photo: Reuters/ Brendan McDermid] 




  • Japan pledges $60m in humanitarian aid

    by AJE Staff

    The Prime Minister of Japan has pledged $60m in humanitarian assistance to Syria and its surrounding neighbours housing refugees. 

    Speaking to the General Assembly on Thursday at the United Nations for the first time since taking office, Shinzo Abe sent a firm message to the embattled country saying the use of chemical weapons would not be tolerated.

    "The use of chemical weapons has aroused profound shock and anger to the people in Japan, including myself. Chemical weapons must never be used again," Abe said. - AP [Photo: Reuters/ Eduardo Munoz]


  • UN Council could vote Friday on Syria resolution


    The UN Security Council could vote late on Friday on a draft US-resolution on destroying Syria's  chemical weapons, a senior US official has said.

    The vote could be held if the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, based in The Hague, accepts a linked US-Russian plan to put Syrian weapons under international control earlier Friday, other diplomats said. Full story: http://aje.me/1fKBP0g 
  • UN draft resolution text


    by AJE Staff


    The US and Russia have reached an agreement on a draft U
    N Security Council resolution aimed at ridding Syria of its chemical weapons arsenal.

    The following is the first part of the text of this draft resolution, as stated in the document:

    PP1. Recalling the Statements of its President of 3 August 2011, 21 March 2012, 5 April 2012, and its resolutions 1540 (2004), 2042 (2012) and 2043 (2012),

    PP2. Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic,

    PP3. Reaffirming that the proliferation of chemical weapons, as well as their means of delivery, constitutes a threat to international peace and security,

    PP4. Recalling that the Syrian Arab Republic on 22 November 1968 acceded to the Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gases and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare, signed at Geneva on 17 June 1925,

    PP5. Noting that on 14 September 2013, Syria deposited with the Secretary-General its instrument of accession to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction (Convention) and declared that it shall comply with its stipulations and observe them faithfully and sincerely, applying the Convention provisionally pending its entry into force for the Syrian Arab Republic,

    To be continued.... [Photo: Reuters /Brendan McDermid]



  • UN draft resolution text on Syria: Part II
    PP6. Welcoming the establishment by the Secretary-General of the
    United Nations Mission to Investigate Allegations of the Use of
    Chemical Weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic ("the Mission")
    pursuant to General Assembly resolution 42/37 C (1987) of 30
    November 1987, and reaffirmed by resolution 620 (1988) of 26
    August 1988, and expressing appreciation for the work of the
    Mission,

    PP7. Acknowledging the report of 16 September
    2013(S/2013/553) by the Mission, underscoring the need for the
    Mission to fulfill its mandate, and emphasizing that future
    credible allegations of chemical weapons use in the Syrian Arab
    Republic should be investigated,

    PP8. Deeply outraged by the use of chemical weapons on 21 August
    2013 in Rif Damascus, as concluded in the Mission's
    report, condemning the killing of civilians that resulted from
    it, affirming that the use of chemical weapons constitutes a
    serious violation of international law, and stressing that those
    responsible for any use of chemical weapons must be held
    accountable,

    PP9. Recalling the obligation under resolution 1540 (2004)that
    all States shall refrain from providing any form of support to
    non-State actors that attempt to develop, acquire, manufacture,
    possess, transport, transfer or use weapons of mass destruction,
    including chemical weapons, and their means of delivery,

    PP10. Welcoming the Framework for Elimination of Syrian Chemical
    Weapons dated 14 September 2013, in Geneva, between the Russian
    Federation and the United States of America (S/2013/565), with a
    view to ensuring the destruction of the Syrian Arab Republic's
    chemical weapons program in the soonest and safest
    manner, and expressing its commitment to the immediate
    international control over chemical weapons and their components
    in the Syrian Arab Republic,

    To be continued....

  • UN draft resolution on Syria text: Part III

    PP11. Welcoming the decision of the Executive Council of the
    Organization for
    the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) of

    [XX September 2013]
    establishing special procedures

    for the expeditious destruction of the Syrian
    Arab Republic's

    chemical weapons program and stringent verification thereof,
    and

    expressing its determination to ensure the destruction of the
    Syrian
    Arab Republic's chemical weapons program according to the

    timetable contained
    in the OPCW Executive Council decision

    of [XX September 2013],

    PP12.
    Stressing that the only solution to the current crisis in

    the Syrian Arab
    Republic is through an inclusive and Syrian-led

    political process based on
    the Geneva Communiqu� of 30 June

    2012, and emphasising the need to convene
    the international

    conference on Syria as soon as possible,

    PP13.
    Determining that the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian

    Arab Republic
    constitutes a threat to international peace and

    security,

    PP14.
    Underscoring that Member States are obligated under

    Article 25 of the Charter
    of the United Nations to accept and

    carry out the Council's
    decisions,



  • UN draft resolution on Syria explained: Part I

    1. Determines that the use of chemical weapons anywhere constitutes a threat to
    international peace and 
    security;

    2. Condemns in the strongest terms any use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic, in particular the attack on 21 August 2013, in violation of international law;

    3. Endorses the decision of the OPCW Executive Council [XX September 2013], which contains special procedures for the expeditious destruction of the Syrian Arab Republic's chemical weapons program and stringent verification thereof and calls for its full implementation in the most expedient and safest manner;

    4. Decides that the Syrian Arab Republic shall not use, develop, produce, otherwise acquire, stockpile or retain chemical weapons, or transfer, directly or indirectly, chemical weapons to other States or non-State actors;

    5. Underscores that no party in Syria should use, develop, produce, acquire, stockpile, retain, or transfer chemical weapons;

  • UN draft resolution explained: Part II


    by AJE Staff


    6. Decides that the Syrian Arab Republic shall comply with
    all 
    aspects of the decision of the OPCW Executive Council of [XX September
    2013] (Annex I);


    7. Decides that the Syrian Arab Republic shall cooperate
    fully 
    with the OPCW and the United Nations, including by complying with
    their relevant recommendations, by accepting personnel

    designated by the OPCW
    or the United Nations, by providing for 
    and ensuring the security of
    activities undertaken by these 
    personnel, by providing these personnel with
    immediate and

    unfettered access to and the right to inspect, in
    discharging 
    their functions, any and all sites, and by allowing
    immediate 
    and unfettered access to individuals that the OPCW has grounds
    to believe to be of importance for the purpose of its 
    mandate, and decides
    that all parties in Syria shall co-operate 
    fully in this regard;

    8.
    Decides to authorise an advance team of United Nations 
    personnel to provide
    early assistance to OPCW activities in 
    Syria, requests the Director-General
    of the OPCW and

    the Secretary-General to closely cooperate in the
    implementation 
    of the Executive Council decision of [XX September 2013]
    and 
    this resolution, including through their operational activities on the
    ground, and further requests the Secretary-General, in 
    consultation with the
    Director-General of the OPCW and, where 
    appropriate, the Director-General of
    the World Health 
    Organisation, to submit to the Council within 10 days of
    the 
    adoption of this resolution recommendations regarding the role of the
    United Nations in eliminating the Syrian Arab Republic's 
    chemical weapons
    program;


    9. Notes that the Syrian Arab Republic is a party to
    the 
    Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations,
    decides that OPCW-designated personnel undertaking

    activities provided for in
    this resolution or the decision of 
    the OPCW Executive Council of [XX
    September 2013] shall enjoy 
    the privileges and immunities contained in the
    Verification

    Annex, Part II(B) of the Chemical Weapons Convention, and
    calls on the Syrian Arab Republic to conclude modalities 
    agreements with the
    United Nations and the OPCW;


    10. Encourages Member States to provide
    support, including 
    personnel, technical expertise, information, equipment,
    and 
    financial and other resources and assistance, in coordination
    with the
    Director-General of the OPCW and the Secretary-General, 
    to enable the OPCW
    and the United Nations to implement the 
    elimination. - Reuters [Photo: Reuters/ Mohammad Abdullah]
  • UN draft resolution explained: Part III


    11. Urges all Syrian parties and interested Member States with relevant
    capabilities to work closely together and with the OPCW 
    and the United
    Nations to arrange for the security of the

    monitoring and destruction
    mission, recognising the primary 
    responsibility of the Syrian government in
    this regard;


    12. Decides to review on a regular basis the implementation
    in 
    the Syrian Arab Republic of the decision of the OPCW Executive Council
    [XX September 2013] and this resolution, 
    and requests the Director-General of
    the OPCW to report to the 
    Security Council, through the Secretary-General,
    who shall 
    include relevant information on United Nations
    activities

    related to the implementation of this resolution, within 30
    days 
    and every month thereafter, and requests further the Director-General
    of the OPCW and the Secretary-General to 
    report in a coordinated manner, as
    needed, to the Security 
    Council, non-compliance with this resolution or the
    OPCW 
    Executive Council decision of [XX September 2013];

    13. Reaffirms
    its readiness to consider promptly any reports of 
    the OPCW under Article VIII
    of the Chemical Weapons Convention, 
    which provides for the referral of cases
    of non-compliance to 
    the United Nations Security Council;

    14. Decides
    that Member States shall inform immediately the 
    Security Council of any
    violation of resolution 1540 (2004), 
    including acquisition by non-State
    actors of chemical weapons,

    their means of delivery and related materials in
    order to take 
    necessary measures therefore;

    15.
    Expresses its strong conviction that those individuals 
    responsible for the
    use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab 
    Republic should be held
    accountable; - Reuters


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