首页  | 新闻播报

Snipers shoot at UN weapons inspectors

中国日报网 2013-08-27 10:03

Get Flash Player

Download

Snipers shot at a UN team set to inspect the site of a suspected deadly chemical weapons attack on Monday, further ratcheting up tensions as the West warned of possible military action against Damascus.

A defiant Syrian President Bashar al-Assad declared that any strike by the United States and its allies would be doomed to failure and key ally Moscow said it could have dangerous consequences for the entire region.

A UN spokesman said unidentified snipers shot at the UN experts looking into allegations of a chemical attack near Damascus last week that the Syrian opposition claimed killed hundreds of civilians.

The attack forced them to suspend their inspection but no injuries were reported, said spokesman Martin Nesirky.

"The first vehicle of the chemical weapons investigation team was deliberately shot at multiple times by unidentified snipers," he said.

Syria blamed rebel forces for the attack, state television said on Monday.

Syria TV, citing an Information Ministry source, said the international experts were shot at by "terrorists", a term it commonly uses to describe rebels trying to topple Assad.

"The Syrian government will hold the armed terrorist groups responsible for the safety of the members of the United Nations team," the source added, according to state television.

The attack came as the West appeared to be moving closer to launching a military response over last Wednesday's attack near Damascus, which shocked the world after grisly pictures emerged of dead civilians.

Britain said the West could act even without full UN Security Council backing.

Washington and its allies have pointed the finger of blame at Assad for the alleged attack, the latest atrocity in a conflict that has claimed the lives of more than 100,000 people since March 2011.

Assad, in an interview with a Russian newspaper published on Monday, angrily denied the accusations as an "insult to common sense" and said any military action was doomed to failure.

"The US faces failure just like in all the previous wars they waged," he said.

A senior Syrian security official told AFP the government was ready to face "all scenarios".

"Western threats of strikes against Syria are part of the psychological and political pressure against Syria, but in any case we are ready to face all scenarios," the official said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned his US counterpart John Kerry of the "extremely dangerous consequences of a possible new military intervention for the whole Middle East and North Africa region".

Syrian authorities had approved the UN inspection of the site in Ghouta east of Damascus on Sunday, but US officials said it was too little, too late, arguing that persistent shelling there in recent days had "corrupted" the site.

Mortar shells also hit a mosque in the center of Damascus on Monday, the Syrian news agency SANA said, blaming "terrorists".

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

About the broadcaster:

Lance Crayon is a videographer and editor with China Daily. Since living in Beijing he has worked for China Radio International (CRI) and Global Times. Before moving to China he worked in the film industry in Los Angeles as a talent agent and producer. He has a B.A. in English from the University of Texas at Arlington.

中国日报网英语点津版权说明:凡注明来源为“中国日报网英语点津:XXX(署名)”的原创作品,除与中国日报网签署英语点津内容授权协议的网站外,其他任何网站或单位未经允许不得非法盗链、转载和使用,违者必究。如需使用,请与010-84883561联系;凡本网注明“来源:XXX(非英语点津)”的作品,均转载自其它媒体,目的在于传播更多信息,其他媒体如需转载,请与稿件来源方联系,如产生任何问题与本网无关;本网所发布的歌曲、电影片段,版权归原作者所有,仅供学习与研究,如果侵权,请提供版权证明,以便尽快删除。
本文相关阅读
5af95d3ba3103f6866ee845a

Israel fires warning shot into Syria

5af95d3ba3103f6866ee845a

Syria opposition bids for recognition

订阅和关注
人气排行