Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)
December 2013 - Syria Special Weapons News
- Syria: UN humanitarian chief decries 'indiscriminate attacks' in Aleppo UN News Centre 31 Dec 2013 -- The top United Nations humanitarian official today expressed concern about the deteriorating situation in the Syrian city of Aleppo, where hundreds of people have been killed or injured by indiscriminate attacks in recent weeks.
- Syria army continues operations across country Iran Press TV 31 Dec 2013 -- The Syrian army is pushing ahead with its mop-up operations against foreign-sponsored militants operating across the country.
- Ships Turn Back as Syria Chemical Removal Deadline Passes VOA 31 Dec 2013 -- Norwegian and Danish naval teams, on their way to remove chemical weapons from Syria, have turned back and are heading for Cyprus as an end-of-year deadline to remove most of the toxins from the war-torn country passed unmet.
- Syria Chemical Weapons Deadline May Pass Unmet VOA 30 Dec 2013 -- Tuesday's deadline to move most of Syria's chemical weapons out of the country will likely go unmet.
- UNHCR completes first aid airlift to Syria via Iraq Iran Press TV 29 Dec 2013 -- The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) says it has, for the first time, managed to fly humanitarian aid to a difficult-to-access region in Syria from neighboring Iraq.
- Syria committed to Iran's presences in Geneva 2: FM Iran Press TV 29 Dec 2013 -- Damascus says it is committed to the Islamic Republic of Iran's participation in the Geneva 2 conference on the situation in Syria next month.
- Syria army continues mop-up operations Iran Press TV 29 Dec 2013 -- The Syrian army has conducted successful clean-up operations across the Arab country, inflicting heavy losses on foreign-sponsored militants fighting against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
- UN: Syria Unlikely To Meet Dec. 31 Target RFE/RL 29 Dec 2013 -- The United Nations says it's 'unlikely' Syria's government will meet a December 31 deadline to move its most dangerous chemical arms out of the country.
- Deadline for removing Syria's chemical weapons will not be met, says OPCW-UN mission UN News Centre 28 Dec 2013 -- The deadline set for the removal of the most critical chemical weapons material from Syria for destruction will not be met owing to technical difficulties, the Joint Mission of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the United Nations said on Saturday.
- Syria's chemical weapons removal to be delayed: OPCW Iran Press TV 28 Dec 2013 -- The removal of Syria's chemical toxins under a UN resolution aimed at eliminating the countries chemical arsenal will likely miss a December 31 deadline, the world's chemical watchdog says.
- Ban decries escalating violence in Syria, condemns use of 'barrel bombs' UN News Centre 26 Dec 2013 -- As efforts intensify to bring the Syrian sides to a negotiating table in Switzerland, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today voiced his grave concern about the continued and indiscriminate use of heavy weapons and mortar shelling in the ongoing conflict, most recently in hard-hit Aleppo which has been the site of a "barrel bomb" campaign by Government forces.
- Syria forces ambush, kill scores of militants Iran Press TV 27 Dec 2013 -- Syrian army forces have killed scores of militants, including members of the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front, near a historic Christian village north of the capital, Damascus.
- First Stage of Syrian Chemical Weapons Destruction Complete RIA Novosti 26 Dec 2013 -- The first stage of the destruction of the Syrian government's chemical arsenal has been completed, the head of the Russian Security Council said Thursday.
- Russia, China to Ensure Security of Syrian Chemical Stockpile RIA Novosti 25 Dec 2013 -- Russia and China are in charge of providing security for the Syrian government's chemical arsenal as it is being taken out of the country, a senior Russian diplomat said on Wednesday.
- Russian Navy to Escort Ships Removing Syria Chemical Arms RIA Novosti 24 Dec 2013 -- Warships from the Russian naval task force in the Mediterranean will escort ships transporting chemical weapons stockpiles being removed from Syria, a high-ranking Russian military source said Tuesday.
- Preparations for upcoming Syria peace conference 'on track,' says UN chief UN News Centre 23 Dec 2013 -- Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today that preparations for the long-awaited international conference aimed at achieving a political solution to the crisis in Syria are moving ahead, and stressed that negotiations are the only way to end the ongoing bloodshed.
- Syria facing major extremist offensive: Assad Iran Press TV 23 Dec 2013 -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says his country is being confronted by a major offensive led by Takfiri extremists.
- Russia Delivers Chemical Disarmament Gear to Syria RIA Novosti 23 Dec 2013 -- Russia has handed over vehicles and supplies to assist Syria with destruction of its chemical weapons stockpile, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Monday.
- ICRC warns of dire humanitarian situation in Syria Iran Press TV 22 Dec 2013 -- The International Committee of the Red Cross has warned over Syria's escalating humanitarian crisis, urging both sides involved to allow humanitarian assistance to reach besieged areas.
- Joint UN-Arab League envoy says over 30 nations invited to peace conference on Syria UN News Centre 20 Dec 2013 -- The Joint Special Representative of the United Nations and the League of Arab States for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi today announced that more than 30 nations have been invited to attend the long-sought Syria peace conference to be held in Geneva next month.
- Assad re-election bid unstoppable: Syria Iran Press TV 19 Dec 2013 -- The Syrian government says that nobody can stop President Bashar al-Assad from standing for re-election next year, reports said.
- Enforced disappearances in Syria widespread, reports UN human rights panel UN News Centre 19 Dec 2013 -- Enforced disappearances are being committed throughout Syria as part of a campaign of intimidation and as a tactic of war, says a report published today by the United Nations panel investigating human rights violations in the country.
- OPCW Plan For Destroying Syrian Chemical Weapons Complex, Chancy VOA 19 Dec 2013 -- The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, or OPCW, which has been tasked with ensuring that Syria destroys its chemical weapons arsenal by the middle of next year, outlined its plans for accomplishing that task this week. It will not be easy, and OPCW Director General Ahmet Uzumcu said that states assisting in the mission have, "in the interest of the common good, assumed onerous responsibilities" in executing a plan that has been so quickly put together.
- Syria: multinational effort to remove chemical arms kicks off tomorrow, OPCW says UN News Centre 18 Dec 2013 -- The search for suitable vendors to assist in the commercial transport and destruction of Syrian chemical agents is due to begin tomorrow, the head of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said today, announcing a multinational effort for that will require additional funding.
- Security Council warns of Syrian civil war's impact on UN force in Golan Heights UN News Centre 18 Dec 2013 -- The Security Council today extended the nearly 40-year-old United Nations observer force in the Golan Heights for another six months, calling on all parties in the Syrian civil war to cease military actions in the area.
- Syrian army kills scores of militants across country Iran Press TV 18 Dec 2013 -- Scores of foreign-backed militants operating inside Syria have been killed in clashes with the Syrian army across the country.
- Russia Joins Operation to Remove Chemical Weapons From Syria RIA Novosti 18 Dec 2013 -- Russia will send armored trucks to Syria as part of an international effort to remove chemical weapons from the war-torn country for destruction at sea, the international watchdog overseeing the operation said in a statement posted online Wednesday.
- Syrian Government Forces Pound Aleppo VOA 18 Dec 2013 -- Syrian government forces continue to bomb rebel-held districts of the country's largest city, Aleppo, for the fourth consecutive day Wednesday. Witnesses say the use of 'barrel bombs' is causing a heavy toll on civilians and that doctors are struggling to treat casualties.
- Syrian army mop-up continues across country Iran Press TV 17 Dec 2013 -- The Syrian army has conducted successful mop-up operations in several areas across the Arab country, inflicting heavy losses on foreign-sponsored militants fighting against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
- Syria conference to open 22 January in Montreux, UN confirms UN News Centre 17 Dec 2013 -- The long-sought international peace conference on Syria is set to begin on 22 January with a one-day meeting in the Swiss town of Montreux, the United Nations confirmed today.
- Syria: UN agency voices horror at reported bomb raid that killed up to 28 children in Aleppo UN News Centre 16 Dec 2013 -- The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) voiced horror today at reports that as many as 28 Syrian children were killed in a bombing raid in Aleppo while the UN World Food Programme (WFP) announced plans to expand emergency food aid to over 7 million displaced Syrians in what it called "the worst humanitarian crisis … in decades."
- Number of Shia Fighters in Syria Could Rise Following Fatwa VOA 16 Dec 2013 -- Up to 5000 Shia volunteers from Iraq are currently believed to be fighting in the Syrian civil war. Analysts say that number could rise now that a leading Muslim cleric has issued a fatwa saying it is permitted for Shia from Iraq to fight in support of President Bashar al-Assad. The religious ruling by Iran-based Grand Ayatollah Kazim al-Haeri is likely to have special resonance in Iraq as the cleric is a mentor of the radical Iraqi Shia Muslim leader Muqtada al-Sadr.
- Syrian refugees to exceed 4mn by end of 2014: UN Iran Press TV 16 Dec 2013 -- The United Nations has warned that the number of Syrian refugees, who have fled the crisis in the country, will almost double over the next year to top four million.
- 'Turkey sent tons of arms into Syria' Iran Press TV 16 Dec 2013 -- Turkey has sent over 47 tons of weaponry to the foreign-sponsored militants operating inside Syria since June, according to a UN report.
- Syria army continues mop-up operations across country Iran Press TV 16 Dec 2013 -- The Syrian army is pushing ahead with its mop-up operations to clear foreign-backed militants from different areas across the country.
- Syrian army recaptures key areas from militants Iran Press TV 15 Dec 2013 -- The Syrian army continues mop-up operations against foreign-backed militants on the outskirts of the capital Damascus.
- Syria army tightens noose around militants Iran Press TV 15 Dec 2013 -- The Syrian army continues to tighten the noose around foreign-sponsored militants in several areas across the country.
- Early Storms Foretell Another Hard Winter for Syria Refugees VOA 15 Dec 2013 -- A winter-worthy storm system pummeling parts of the Middle East has hit Syrian refugees especially hard, and the worst is yet to come.
- UN Chief Condemns Chemical Arms Use In Syria RFE/RL 14 Dec 2013 -- United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian civil war.
- Press Conference on Mission to Investigate Alleged Chemical Weapons Use in Syria United Nations 13 Dec 2013
- Syria: UN human rights chief alarmed by rise in abductions, disappearances UN News Centre 13 Dec 2013 -- Syrians continue to fall victim to a callous indifference towards human life and disregard for safety, exemplified by the increasing trend of abductions and enforced disappearances, the United Nations human rights chief warned today.
- Russia Concerned Over Islamist Attacks on Arms Depots in Syria RIA Novosti 13 Dec 2013 -- The Russian Foreign Ministry expressed concern Thursday over reports that a powerful Islamist group had taken control of arms depots in northern Syria.
- Final Report of the United Nations Mission to Investigate Allegations of the Use of Chemical Weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic United Nations 12 Dec 2013
- UN team finds 'credible information' on more cases of chemical weapons use in Syria UN News Centre 12 Dec 2013 -- The United Nations team probing the use of chemical weapons in Syria, which in September found "clear and convincing evidence" of Sarin gas attacks against civilians, including children, in the Damascus area, today reported "credible information" that such weapons were used against soldiers and civilians in other parts of the country.
- UN Report Confirms Chemical Weapon Use in Syria VOA 12 Dec 2013 -- The U.N. mission tasked with assessing whether chemical weapons have been used in the Syrian conflict has concluded in its final report that they were used.
- Western-backed FSA commander flees Syria Iran Press TV 12 Dec 2013 -- A top Western-backed commander of the opposition forces in Syria has been driven out of the country by Takfiri militants, report said.
- Lebanon: as winter storm bears down, UN and partners ramp up aid for Syrian refugees UN News Centre 12 Dec 2013 -- The United Nations and its humanitarian partners are ramping up efforts to assist more than 800,000 Syrian refugees in Lebanon who are facing the onslaught of cold weather, rains and snowfall as a massive winter storm named "Alexa" moves across the region.
- US Suspends Non-Lethal Aid for Syrian Rebels VOA 11 Dec 2013 -- The United States confirmed Wednesday that non-lethal aid to northern Syria has been suspended after Islamist fighters seized warehouses used by the Western-backed Free Syrian Army rebels.
- Obama nearly lied US into war with Syria: Seymour Hersh Iran Press TV 11 Dec 2013 -- Leading American investigative journalist, Seymour Hersh, says US President Barack Obama had nearly "cherry-picked" its evidence for launching a military strike against Syria after a chemical weapons attack near the Syrian capital, Damascus, in August.
- Syria army launches large-scale ops. against militants Iran Press TV 11 Dec 2013 -- The Syrian army has launched large-scale military operations against foreign-backed militants across the country.
- Number of foreign militants in Syria exceeds 5,000 Iran Press TV 11 Dec 2013 -- A new report says the number of foreign militants fighting the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is now above 5,000.
- IRGC experts training Syrian army: Cmdr. Jafari Iran Press TV 11 Dec 2013 -- An Iranian commander says the the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has military experts in Syria who share experience and provide consultations to the armed forces of the Arab country.
- Syria army continues mop-up operations near Damascus Iran Press TV 10 Dec 2013 -- The Syrian army is pushing ahead with its mop-up operations to clear militants from the suburbs of the capital city, Damascus, Press TV reports.
- Syria: as harsh winter sets in, UN refugee agency begins aid airlifts from Iraq UN News Centre 10 Dec 2013 -- As the Syrian crisis passes the tragic 1,000-day mark, the United Nations refugee agency is working hard to meet the 'immense needs' of desperate communities there, including across lines in conflict zones and in neighbouring countries, while also bracing for what meteorologists predict could be the region's harshest winter in a century.
- Syria forces take control of strategic highway Iran Press TV 09 Dec 2013 -- Syrian government forces have taken control of a strategic highway which links the capital Damascus to the country's north.
- Syrian army troops capture al-Nabek town Iran Press TV 09 Dec 2013 -- The Syrian army has made more gains in its fight against foreign-backed militants operating inside the country establishing full control over the town of al-Nabek.
- Russia in Talks on Moving Chemical Weapons from Syria - Deputy FM RIA Novosti 09 Dec 2013 -- Russia is in talks about providing safe transport of chemical weapons out of Syria, a deputy foreign minister said Monday.
- Syria Retakes Road Needed for Chemical Weapons Removal VOA 09 Dec 2013 -- Syrian activists say President Bashar al-Assad's forces have regained control of the main highway connecting Damascus to the coast that is needed to extract hundreds of tons of toxic chemicals for destruction.
- Syria army retakes al-Nabk town near Damascus Iran Press TV 07 Dec 2013 -- Syria army has continued its operations against foreign-backed militants in the country, regaining the control of an area near al-Nabk town, north of the capital Damascus.
- Al-Qaeda-linked militants seize FSA base in Syria Iran Press TV 07 Dec 2013 -- Al-Qaeda-linked militants in Syria have seized a base belonging to the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA), as infighting grows among foreign-backed militants in the Arab country.
- Syria: Senior UN officials strongly condemn attacks on health personnel, facilities UN News Centre 07 Dec 2013 -- Healthcare workers in Syria must be protected, senior United Nations humanitarian officials have said issuing a fresh call for the protection of medical facilities and for safe access to medicines, vaccines and other vital humanitarian aid in the country.
- 'FSA' says won't attend Geneva talks Iran Press TV 06 Dec 2013 -- The military wing of Syria's foreign-sponsored opposition says it will not take part in the upcoming Geneva conference on the crisis in Syria, Press TV reports.
- DOD Offers Help to Meet Syria Chemical Weapon Deadline AFPS 05 Dec 2013 -- The Defense Department has offered the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons a technical solution for removing the worst chemical weapons from war-torn Syria by Dec. 31 and is readying the capability for early January if the OPCW accepts, senior defense officials said here.
- Preparations in 'full swing' for removing Syria's chemical agents, says OPCW-UN mission chief UN News Centre 04 Dec 2013 -- Preparations are proceeding for removing Syria's chemical agents out of the country for their destruction, the head of the joint mission of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the United Nations reported today, calling for continued support from the international community to complete this important task.
- Syrian refugee women have key role to play in country's future – UN official UN News Centre 04 Dec 2013 -- Syrian refugee women have a key role to play in shaping the future of their war-torn homeland, the protection chief of the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) told a conference in London today.
- NATO-Russia Council Statement of Support for the OPCW-UN Joint Mission NATO 04 Dec 2013 -- Press Release (2013) 139
- Foreign intelligence services back militants: FSA Iran Press TV 04 Dec 2013 -- One of the former commanders of the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) says militants in Syria are supported by foreign intelligence agencies, including Israeli services, a Syrian TV channel says.
- Al-Qaeda base in Syria threatens European countries Iran Press TV 04 Dec 2013 -- Western intelligence officials have warned that al-Qaeda-linked terrorists are establishing a base in Syria which threatens Europe.
- Syria: UN humanitarian chief says no progress made on access to hard-to-reach areas UN News Centre 03 Dec 2013 -- Reporting "modest progress" with the Syrian Government on speeding up visa issuance and increasing the number of relief distribution hubs, a top United Nations official said today that with perhaps 250,000 Syrians cut off from aid in besieged communities across the war-torn country, greater efforts are needed to ensure real gains on the humanitarian front.
- UN: Better Aid Access Needed to Nearly 3 Million Syrians VOA 03 Dec 2013 -- U.N. humanitarian chief Valerie Amos is urging greater access for humanitarian workers in Syria, saying only "modest progress" has been made in recent months in reaching some of the nearly 3 million people in besieged areas.
- Syrian Rebels Face Pressure on Multiple Fronts VOA 03 Dec 2013 -- Syrian rebels battling to oust President Bashar al-Assad are now facing determined government military offensives on three fronts in the north and west and along an arc of suburbs running south to east around the capital of Damascus. The offensives are stretching rebel forces and triggering more factional infighting and recriminations between their commanders, say analysts.
- Syria army pressing ahead with mop-up operations Iran Press TV 03 Dec 2013 -- Syrian government forces continue to tighten the noose around foreign-backed militants in several areas across the Arab country.
- UN: Syria War Crimes Evidence Implicates Assad VOA 02 Dec 2013 -- The United Nations' top human rights official says evidence collected by U.N. investigators implicates Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and members of his inner circle in crimes against humanity and war crimes.
- Syria militants take part of Syrian Christian town of Ma'loula Iran Press TV 02 Dec 2013 -- Foreign-backed militants operating inside Syria have moved into the center of the Christian town of Ma'loula after several days of fighting.
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