Syrian conflict

Syria peace talks in doubt over opposition rifts

Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi. Photo: Reuters

Syrian peace talks could be held on November 23, but not without “credible opposition” participation, top diplomats said on Sunday, as a truck bomb in central Syria killed more than 30 people.

Sunday, 20 October, 2013, 6:41pm

UN names envoy for Syria chemical weapons

Inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) at work in Syria. Photo: AFP

The head of the United Nations on Sunday named Sigrid Kaag to lead the UN’s joint mission with the chemical weapons watchdog tasked with eliminating Syria’s arsenal, diplomats said.

14 Oct 2013 - 9:04pm

Experts mull plans for Syrian war crimes tribunal

Draft indictments have been prepared against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Photo: Reuters

When the guns fall silent in Syria and the killing eventually stops, a key part of helping a traumatised people rebuild and heal will be bringing to justice those behind years of shocking brutality.

14 Oct 2013 - 9:03pm

US and Russia to urge UN to set Syria peace talks in November

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Photo: AP

The United States and Russia have agreed to press the United Nations to set a date for a Syria peace conference sometime in the second week of November, US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday after talks with his Russian counterpart.

8 Oct 2013 - 11:38am

US credits Syria’s Assad over chemical arms destruction

US Secretary of State John Kerry says Assad can take 'credit' fpr quickly starting the process of destroying the Syrian regime's chemical arsenal. Photo: Xinhua

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could take “credit” for swiftly moving to eliminate his regime’s chemical arms, top US diplomat John Kerry said on Monday, after UN experts began destroying Syria’s missile warheads and aerial bombs.

7 Oct 2013 - 1:10pm 2 comments

International mission begins destroying Syrian chemical weapons

United Nations vehicles are seen leaving the hotel in Damascus. Disarmament inspectors from the UN and OPCW will destroy Syria's chmeical arsenal. Photo: AFP

Experts yesterday began the process of destroying Syria's chemical weapons arsenal under the terms of a UN resolution that will see Damascus relinquish its banned weapons, an official said.

7 Oct 2013 - 3:51am

Inspectors arrive in Syria to oversee destruction of chemical weapons

A convoy of UN inspectors cross into Syria at Masnaa, eastern Lebanon. Photo: AP

Twenty inspectors from a Netherlands-based chemical weapons watchdog crossed into Syria from Lebanon on their way to Damascus to begin their complex mission of finding, dismantling and ultimately destroying an estimated 1,000-ton chemical arsenal.

2 Oct 2013 - 5:06am

Airstrike kills 12 in Syria high school, says NGO

Free Syrian Army fighters walk with their weapons inside a damaged building beside the Syrian Regime Air Intelligence centre in Aleppo. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says that an air strike on a high school in Raqa killed 12 people. Photo: Reuters

An airstrike on a high school in a rebel-held city of northern Syria killed 12 people, most of them pupils, on Sunday, a monitoring group said.

“The Syrian air force bombed a technical high school in the city of Raqa, killing 12 people, most of them children under 18, and wounding many other people, some of them seriously,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

30 Sep 2013 - 7:54pm 1 comment

Renewed push at UN for Syria resolution followed by peace talks

A Free Syrian Army fighter in Old Aleppo. Photo: Reuters

US President Barack Obama appealed to the United Nations on Tuesday to back tough consequences for Syria if it refuses to give up chemical weapons and urged Russia and Iran to end their support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

25 Sep 2013 - 11:02am

Syria’s Assad criticises US on strike threat in interview with China TV

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Photo: AFP

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad criticised the United States for threatening to attack Syria over its chemical weapons programme, saying it was finding “excuses for war”, China’s state television said on Monday.

23 Sep 2013 - 8:21pm 1 comment

Assad: It will take one year and US$1 billion to destroy chemical weapons

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark in Damascus. Photo: AP

Defiant strongman Bashar Al-Assad promised on Wednesday he would surrender Syria’s chemical weapons but warned it would take at least a year to do so and cost one billion dollars.

His latest appearance came as UN envoys debated a draft resolution that would enshrine a joint US-Russian plan to secure and neutralise his banned weapons in international law.

19 Sep 2013 - 10:18am

US says Russia ‘ignoring facts’ over Syria attack

Secretary of State John Kerry arrives at the Capitol for a closed-door briefing on Syria. Photo: AP

The United States on Tuesday accused Russia of ignoring the facts surrounding a poison gas attack in Syria, highlighting tensions between the West and Moscow over how to eliminate the country’s chemical weapons.

18 Sep 2013 - 1:07pm

China says will give UN Syria report 'thorough review'

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. China will take a serious look at the UN report on use of sarin gas in Syria. Photo: AFP

China said on Tuesday that it would take a serious look at a report by UN investigators which confirmed the use of sarin nerve agent in an August 21 gas attack outside the Syrian capital.

The long-awaited UN report did not say who launched the attack, though US, British and French envoys said technical details in it pointed to Syrian government culpability.

17 Sep 2013 - 6:18pm

Chemical attack in Syria was a war crime, says UN leader Ban Ki-moon

A Free Syrian Army fighter during a skirmish in Aleppo. Rebels fear they may now lose ground to the regime's forces. Photo: Reuters

UN leader Ban Ki-moon yesterday told the UN Security Council that the use of chemical weapons in Syria was a "war crime" and demanded the threat of sanctions to back a plan to destroy the arms. This came as Turkey said it had downed a Syrian military helicopter, accusing it of violating its airspace.

17 Sep 2013 - 6:59am

US and France say support is growing for Syria strikes

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (left) talks with French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Paris. Photo: Reuters

US Secretary of State John Kerry continues a diplomatic offensive in Europe on Sunday to win backing for military strikes in Syria, after Washington and Paris said support for action was growing.

8 Sep 2013 - 4:34pm 1 comment