Syria conflict

Syria chemical weapons inspections ‘to start next week’

US Secretary of State John Kerry (right) and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius attend a Friends of the Syrian People meeting on the sidelines of the 68th United Nations General Assembly in New York. Photo: AFP

International inspectors will get to work destroying Syria’s chemical arsenal by next week, once a document drawn up to avert military strikes is agreed by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons on Friday.

Friday, 27 September, 2013, 8:17pm

United States, China agree on need for binding Syria resolution, says official

United States Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in New York. Photo: AFP

The United States and China are in strong agreement on the need for the 15-member UN Security Council to quickly adopt a mandatory and binding resolution on eradicating Syria's chemical weapons arsenal, a senior US official said.

27 Sep 2013 - 4:28am 1 comment

Key Syrian rebel groups abandon opposition political leaders

Gun seller Abu Mohammad holds a rocket-propelled grenade in his Aleppo store, which is prospering as the divisions in Syria grow. Photo: AFP

As diplomats at the United Nations push for a peace conference to end Syria's civil war, a collection of some of the country's most powerful rebel groups publicly abandoned the opposition's political leaders, casting their lot with an affiliate of al-Qaeda.

27 Sep 2013 - 3:26am 1 comment

Famine looms as Syrian military tightens siege of Damascus suburbs

A food basket is pulled across an Aleppo street. Insecurity and inflation worsen shortages. Photo: Reuters

Syrian opposition groups and international relief organisations are warning of the risk of mass starvation across the country, especially in the besieged Damascus suburbs where a gas attack killed hundreds last month.

26 Sep 2013 - 4:29am

China 'ready to help' in Syria arms destruction

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York. Photo: Xinhua

Foreign Minister Wang Yi told UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that China was willing to send experts to help in the destruction of Syrian chemical weapons, and reiterated that a political solution was the only way to solve the crisis in Syria.

24 Sep 2013 - 3:22am

Syria poses challenge for Obama's ambassador to UN, Samantha Power

Syria poses challenge for Obama's ambassador to UN, Samantha Power

Nearly a year before the world woke up to images of Syrians dying in a chemical weapons attack, Samantha Power was quietly pushing US President Barack Obama for a military strike to stop the "grotesque tactics" of President Bashar al-Assad. For a fleeting moment this month, it seemed she had prevailed.

24 Sep 2013 - 5:41pm 1 comment

Syria hands over chemical weapons inventory on time, says watchdog

US Secretary of State John Kerry. Photo: AFP

Syria has completed the handover of an inventory of its chemical arsenal by a Saturday deadline as part of a deal that headed off military strikes, the world’s chemical weapons watchdog said.

21 Sep 2013 - 8:03pm

Chemical watchdog examines Syria weapons details

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Photo: Xinhua

The world’s chemical weapons watchdog has begun on Saturday to examine details of Syria’s chemical arsenal supplied by the regime, as rebels agreed a truce with jihadists in a key border town.

21 Sep 2013 - 3:36pm

Syria begins releasing details on its chemical weapons

The offices of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague, the Netherlands. Photo: AFP

A senior official also said Damascus wanted a ceasefire in the 30-month war, which has reportedly killed more than 110,000 people and forced more than two million to flee.

21 Sep 2013 - 2:46am

China's role 'vital' in Syrian dispute, John Kerry says after meeting Wang Yi

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi shakes hands with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington on Thursday. Photo: Xinhua

China could play a "positive, constructive" role at the United Nations on a resolution to rein in Syria's chemical weapons, according to the top US diplomat.

US Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged at the start of talks with Foreign Minister Wang Yi that the two sides had "disagreed sharply" over the global response to Syria's use of chemical arms.

21 Sep 2013 - 3:11am 2 comments

Iran's President Rowhani urges the West to end cold war mentality

Opposition fighters celebrate after returning from fighting in the village of Kafr Nabuda, in Syria's Idlib province. Photo: AP

Iranian President Hassan Rowhani has urged world leaders to "seize the opportunity" presented by his election to engage Iran in constructive dialogue and said his country is ready to facilitate talks between the Syrian government and the opposition.

21 Sep 2013 - 4:36am 2 comments

Assad’s forces bombard rebel districts after US-Russia arms deal

Free Syrian Army fighters hold their weapons while riding on a vehicle before heading to fight in Aleppo's district of Salaheddine. Photo: Reuters

Syrian warplanes and artillery bombarded rebel suburbs of the capital on Sunday after the United States agreed to call off military action in a deal with Russia to remove President Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons.

15 Sep 2013 - 9:22pm

Syria rebels voice disdain for Obama after climbdown on strike

A rebel fighter in the outskirts of Saraqib, southwest of Syrian city of Aleppo. Photo: AFP

Rebel fighters have expressed disdain for US President Barack Obama after he backed away from striking over alleged chemical weapons attacks, saying the world does not care about Syria.

15 Sep 2013 - 7:47pm

Deal for destruction of Syria chemical weapons difficult to implement, experts say

US Secretary of State Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov shake hands. The United States and Russia agreed on a proposal to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons arsenal. Photo: Reuters

The US-Russian deal brokered on Saturday to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons will be difficult if not impossible to implement, experts said, not least because of the quandary of their destruction.

15 Sep 2013 - 2:37pm

United States and Russia agree plan for Syria to give up chemical weapons

John Kerry (left) with Sergei Lavrov yesterday. Photo: AP

In a landmark deal thrashed out in talks spanning three days, the two powers gave Syrian President Bashar al-Assad a week to hand over details of his regime's stockpile.

15 Sep 2013 - 2:14am 3 comments