Newscast Media MOSCOW—Russia’s deputy foreign minister says Syria has planned to
remove a large shipment of toxic chemical agents this month.
“Literally yesterday the Syrians announced that the removal of a large shipment of
chemical substances is planned in February,” Gennady Gatilov said on Tuesday.
“They are ready to complete this process by March 1,” the Russian official added.
On September 14, 2013, Russia and the United States agreed on a deal according to
which Syria would see its chemical weapons eliminated and the US would in return not
follow through planned military action against the country.
Under the deal, supervised by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical
Weapons (OPCW), Nordic vessels are set to collect the chemicals from the port city
of Latakia and take them to a port in Italy, where they will be loaded onto a US ship
In late October, Damascus destroyed its critical chemical weapons production
equipment, meeting a November 1 deadline set by the OPCW Executive Council. The
UN-mandated disarmament operation is due to be completed by the middle of 2014.
The US administration, however, has accused the Syrian government of dragging its
feet in the effort to eliminate the chemical weapons stockpile.
Russia has rejected the charges by Washington, saying a June 30 deadline to destroy
Syria’s arsenal of toxic agents remains viable despite delays.The Russian Foreign
Ministry has said that the delays are due to security problems on the road to Latakia
and insufficient technical support.
Source: Islam Times
Newscast Media LONDON—According to an article written by journalist Seymour Hersh
published in the London Review of Books, US President Barack Obama omitted
important intelligence, and in other instances he presented assumptions as facts.
According to Hersh, US intelligence agencies produced a series of classified reports to
set the stage for a ground invasion, based on the premise that Assad had used nerve
gas against his own people. When the attack occurred al-Nusra should have been a
suspect, but the administration cherry-picked intelligence to justify a strike against
“One high-level intelligence officer, in an email to a colleague, called the administration’s
assurances of Assad’s responsibility a ‘ruse’. The attack ‘was not the result of the current
regime’, he wrote. A former senior intelligence official told me that the Obama
administration had altered the available information – in terms of its timing and
sequence – to enable the president and his advisers to make intelligence retrieved days
after the attack look as if it had been picked up and analysed in real time, as the attack
was happening. The distortion, he said, reminded him of the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin
incident, when the Johnson administration reversed the sequence of National Security
Agency intercepts to justify one of the early bombings of North Vietnam,” Hersh wrote.
In his article, Hersh revealed that the same official said there was immense frustration
inside the military and intelligence bureaucracy: ‘The guys are throwing their hands in
the air and saying, “How can we help this guy” – Obama – “when he and his cronies in
the White House make up the intelligence as they go along?’”
Iran, a strong and loyal friend of Syria, was convinced that an attack on Syria was
justification for an immediate attack on Israel. A military source that spoke on
condition of anonymity told FARS News Agency, “If Damascus comes under attack,
Tel Aviv will be targeted too and a full-scale war against Syria will actually issue a
license for attacking Israel.
“We are rest assured that if Syria is attacked, Israel will also be set on fire and such
an attack will, in turn, engage Syria’s neighbors,” , the source said.
Russia’s Vladmir Putin played a major role in brokering a deal that averted a possible
war in the Middle East.
Newscast Media COPENHAGEN—Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said Friday his country rejects any partial reports by the UN Secretariat before the completion of the mission of the UN chemical weapons investigation team, state-run SANA news agency reported.
The minister said so during a phone call with UN chief Ban Ki- moon on Friday, a day after the UN said the chemical investigators, currently operative on ground, would leave Syria on Saturday. Syria rejects any partial reports before the completion of the mission and the completion of the laboratorial tests of the samples assembled by the team, al-Moallem said.
According to SANA, the foreign minister asked Ban about the reasons behind the abruptness of the UN team’s mission, urging him to stick to even handedness. He also stressed that any aggression against Syria would “blow up all of the exerted efforts to politically solve the Syrian crisis.”
He further requested that the UN team should also investigate the sites where the government accused the rebels of using nerve agents against troops and civilians. The UN team did not investigate all reported instances of chemical weapons’ use, but its officials promised to return to Syria after submitting the result of their primary investigation.
The investigation team, led by Swedish scientist Ake Sellstrom, has been carrying out its work without incidents after a pause last Tuesday, when its convoy was attacked by snipers while heading to Damascus’ eastern suburb of Ghouta, where chemical weapons were allegedly used on Aug. 21.
The alleged incident opened the appetite of Washington to militarily intervene in Syria to “punish” President Bashar al- Assad even before the submission of the investigation’s results.
Newscast Media DAMASCUS—Carla Del Ponte, a member of the U.N. Independent
International Commission of Inquiry on Syria said testimonies from the victims strongly
suggest it was the rebels, not the Syrian government, that used Sarin nerve gas in
the eastern Gouta.
The UN official told Swiss TV there were “strong, concrete suspicions,” that the
rebels had used the nerve agent.
She added that her panel had not yet seen any evidence of Syrian government forces
using chemical weapons, according to the BBC, but she stressed more investigation
Damascus has repeatedly denied growing Western accusations that its forces used
such weapons, which President Obama has described as crossing a red line.
“Our investigators have been in neighboring villages interviewing victims, doctors and
field hospitals. According to their report of last week, which I have seen, there are
concrete suspicions of the use of sarin gas, from the way the victims were treated,”
Ms. Del Ponte, a former Swiss prosecutor and attorney general, told Swiss TV.
The UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria was established in
August 2011 to examine alleged violations of human rights in the Syrian crisis which
started in March that year.
Source: Al Manar TV News