Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Military Space News .

UN sending chemical weapons kits to Syria monitors
by Staff Writers
United Nations (AFP) Dec 17, 2012

Syria hits back at UN over Palestinian refugees
Damascus (AFP) Dec 17, 2012 - Syria on Monday hit back at the United Nations over the fate of Palestinian refugees after UN chief Ban Ki-moon voiced "grave concern" following a deadly air strike on Yarmuk camp in southern Damascus.

"The United Nations and international community are responsible for the frustrations of the Palestinians because they have not implemented UN resolutions related to their legitimate rights," Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said.

"Syria offered something to our Palestinian brothers decades ago that no other Arab host country has offered," he told Ban in a telephone call, quoted by state news agency SANA.

The foreign minister was referring to the granting of equal social rights and to living conditions in Syria's Palestinian refugee camps, long considered the best in the region.

Sunday's air strike on Yarmuk carried out by the Syrian military was the first against the country's Palestinian refugee camps, whose residents are divided over the 21-month conflict between rebels and regime forces.

Clashes since Sunday have pitted the pro-regime Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command against rebel fighters, some of them also Palestinians, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The pro-regime newspaper Al-Watan said on Monday that street battles between the PFLP-GC and insurgents in Yarmuk had "forced the army to intervene with air attacks on the positions of the gunmen."

Ban said the air attack on Sunday on Yarmuk camp was "a matter of grave concern," as activists said at least eight people were killed, and he warned both sides that attacks on civilians could amount to "war crimes".

"The secretary general is alarmed by the continued dramatic escalation of violence in Syria over the past several days, and the grave danger facing civilians in areas under fire," said UN spokesman Martin Nesirky.

Muallem said the jihadist Al-Nusra Front had entered the camp with artillery and attacked a hospital.

Washington last week blacklisted Al-Nusra Front as a terrorist organisation. Originally known for its deadly car bombings, the hardline group has become one of the most effective rebel forces on frontlines across Syria.

According to Muallem, the fighting in Yarmuk was between "terrorist groups receiving financial support and arms from some neighbouring countries and the popular committees of the PFLP-GC".

"Be careful, Palestinian brothers," the foreign minister warned. "Do not harbour or assist these terrorist groups who are alien to the camp, but work to expel them."

He stressed that "the Palestinian cause, the legitimate rights of her people and liberation of the occupied territories are the goals that Syria is struggling to achieve."

The United Nations is sending chemical weapons kits to UN troops in the Golan Heights because of growing fears over Syria's deadly non-conventional arsenal, officials said Monday.

UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous briefed the UN Security Council on efforts to bolster the safety of the UN force, which monitors a ceasefire zone between Syria and Israel, after five troops were injured in attacks.

"We have taken measures to enhance security," he told reporters after the meeting.

"For those personnel who are not equipped on a national basis we are sending them some kits to protect them from chemical attack, if that were to happen."

Extra armored cars have also been sent from other missions to the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), which has been monitoring a ceasefire between Israel and Syria since 1974.

There are about 1,000 unarmed troops from Austria, Croatia, India, Japan and Philippines in UNDOF. The Indian troops, at least, are known not to have chemical weapon protection.

Five Austrians were wounded, two seriously, when a convoy taking US troops from the Golan Heights to Damascus airport came under attack earlier this month. There have been a number of incidents in the ceasefire zone this year.

"There have been increasing difficulties fulfilling its mandate," Ladsous said. "The multiplication of incidents is really a concern."

The United States said earlier this month that it had intelligence showing Syria was considering using its chemical weapons. US President Barack Obama led international warnings to President Bashar al-Assad over the arsenal.

Ladsous also confirmed that the United Nations is drawing up contingency plans to send a possible international force to Syria if the government collapses, but the UN peacekeeping chief gave no details.

"It is contingency planning based on a number of possible scenarios. But the work is going on," he said.

Syria's UN ambassador Bashar Jaafari said, meanwhile, that Damascus is "genuinely worried" that some countries might equip extremist groups with chemical weapons and then claim they were used by the government.

Jaafari also accused the United States of backing "terrorist" groups in Syria in a letter to UN leader Ban Ki-moon and the UN Security Council which was released Monday.

The letter reaffirmed the Assad government's denial that it would use chemical weapons.

"It is defending its people from terrorists backed by well-known states, at the forefront of which is the United States of America," Jaafari said.

"We are genuinely worried that certain states that support terrorism and terrorists could provide the armed terrorist groups with chemical weapons, and then claim they had been used by the Syrian Government," he wrote.

The US says it only provides non-lethal equipment to rebels fighting Assad and humanitarian aid to the country as a whole.

The Syrian government accuses Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, the United States and other Western governments of arming the rebels.


Related Links

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Philippine military calls holiday truce
Manila (AFP) Dec 16, 2012
The Philippine military on Sunday began a holiday season truce against communist insurgents after the rebels called their own limited ceasefire in typhoon-hit regions, a spokesman said. The military ceasefire will last from Sunday till January 2, giving soldiers more time to spend with their families and to help victims of Typhoon Bopha which hit the southern Philippines earlier this month, ... read more

NATO chief denounces Iran's allegations on Patriots

Russia shuts down Azerbaijan radar station: Baku

Turkey assures Russia Patriot missiles for defence: diplomat

Japan authorises N. Korea rocket interception

Scud attacks signal Syrian regime alarm

Tehran denies Iranian missile experts in North Korea

Iran to observe North Korea missile test

Severodvinsk submarine launches first cruise missile at ground targets

Boeing Demos Unmanned Little Bird for Republic of Korea Army

Boeing's Reusable, Unmanned X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle Begins Second Flight

Mystery Air Force space plane launched

US drone strike kills at least three in Pakistan

US Air Force selects Raytheon to develop future Protected SATCOM System

General Dynamics Awarded Contract Under New U.S. Army Rapid-Acquisition Communications Program

Astrium to provide military X-band satcoms to six UK Royal Navy vessels

Lockheed Martin to Demonstrate Key Component of Tactical MilSat Communications System

Britain's Charles shown Tata's new military-grade steel

US Army Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System Software Released

Raytheon BBN Technologies awarded DoD funding to enhance text understanding

Argentina on track to buy 14 Brazil APCs

India probing presence of Swedish arms in Myanmar

German MPs oppose arms sales to Saudis

EU to take closer look at defence as costs soar

Obama mulls Hagel for defense secretary pick

India's clout in question as regional troubles mount

China commentary urges policy shift as Japan votes

PM-in-waiting says disputed islands are Japan's

Japan scrambles fighters for China plane

Nanocrystals Not Small Enough to Avoid Defects

Nature Materials Study: Boosting Heat Transfer With Nanoglue

New optical tweezers trap specimens just a few nanometers across

How 'transparent' is graphene?

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement