When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

BBC, NEW YORK TIMES, AL JAZEERA, AFP

Worldcrunch

DAMASCUS - As the United States appeared to toughen its stance against Syria, United Nations inspectors were forced Tuesday to postpone their investigation into the sites of the alleged chemical attacks in the suburbs of Damascus, according to the AFP.

The Syrian Foreign Affairs Minister Walid Muallem said his counterparts among the rebel forces could not guarantee security for the UN inspectors in the rebel-controlled area. The 20-member UN team had come under sniper fire on Monday while on their way to the West of the city.

Meanwhile, in the strongest language thus far from the US administration, Secretary of State John Kerry denounced the Syrian government on Monday for using chemical weapons against its own people. In an emotional statement, he described the August 21 attack that allegedly killed at least 300 people as a "moral obscenity", according to Al Jazeera.

Kerry seemed to signal Washington's intentions of a military intervention in Syria, according to theBBC. He added that Bashar al-Assad's government must be held accountable. The Syrian authorities have continued denying the use of chemical weapons, blaming the rebel forces for the reported attacks.

According to the New York Times, the inspectors still managed to visit two hospitals on Monday, talk to witnesses and doctors, and collect patient samples. The next inspection is now set for Wednesday.

Other declarations and actions over the past 24 hours appear to signal a growing likelihood of a Western intervention in Syria:

- According to the Guardian, UK warplanes and military hardware have begun arriving at Britain's Akrotiri airbase on Cyprus, less than 100 miles from the Syrian coast, in a sign of increasing preparations for a military strike against the Assad regime in Syria.

- According to Reuters, the British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Tuesday that a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria was "absolutely abhorrent" and necessitated action from the international community.

- According to Russia Today, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov cast doubts on the veracity of Western claims about the incident. He said that the US and European countries have engineered a media campaign to facilitate a military incursion in Syria. He warned that such an intervention would be a "terrible mistake". Lavrov said Russia had no plans of going to war.

- Following Kerry's statement on Monday, Iran warned the US that military intervention will lead to a conflict which would engulf the region, according to the Guardian.

- The Syrian National Coalition called off the long-delayed peace summit in Geneva after the alleged chemical attack, Russia Todaysaid.

- The US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said on Twitter on Tuesday:

Haunting images of entire families dead in their beds. Verdict is clear: Assad has used CWs against civilians in violation of int'l norm.

— Samantha Power (@AmbassadorPower) August 27, 2013
[rebelmouse-image 27087340 alt="""" original_size="400x283" expand=1]
John Kerry on August 13 in Brasilia - Photo: O Globo - ZUMA

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Coronavirus

Will China's Zero COVID Ever End?

Too much has been put in to the state-sponsored truth that minimal spread of the virus is the at-all-cost objective. But if the Chinese economy continues to suffer, Xi Jinping may have no choice but to second guess himself.

COVID testing in Guiyang, China

Cfoto/DDP via ZUMA
Deng Yuwen

The tragic bus accident in Guiyang last month — in which 27 people being sent to quarantine were killed — was one of the worst examples of collateral damage since the COVID-19 pandemic began in China nearly three years ago. While the crash can ultimately be traced back to bad government policy, the local authorities did not register it as a Zero COVID related casualty. It was, for them, a simple traffic accident.

The officials in the southern Chinese province of Guizhou, of course, had no alternative. Drawing a link between the deadly crash and the strict policy of Zero COVID, touted by President Xi Jinping, would have revealed the absurdity of the government's choices.

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ