News

Syria asks the United Nations to stop U.S. strike

Syria asks the United Nations to stop U.S. strike

A Free Syrian Army fighter runs for cover during clashes with forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar Al-Assad beside the Canadian Hospital in Aleppo, August 31, 2013. Photo: Reuters/Molhem Barakat

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syria has asked the United Nations to prevent “any aggression” against Syria following a call over the weekend by President Barack Obama for punitive strikes against the Syrian military for last month’s chemical weapons attack.

Washington says more than 1,400 people, many of them children, were killed in the world’s worst use of chemical arms since Iraq’s Saddam Hussein gassed thousands of Kurds in 1988.

U.S. military action will be put to a vote in Congress, which ends its summer recess on September 9, giving President Bashar al-Assad time to prepare the ground for any assault and try to rally international support against the use of force.

In a letter to U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon and President of the Security Council Maria Cristina Perceval, Syrian U.N. envoy Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari called on “the U.N. Secretary General to shoulder his responsibilities for preventing any aggression on Syria and pushing forward reaching a political solution to the crisis in Syria”, state news agency SANA said on Monday.

He called on the Security Council to “maintain its role as a safety valve to prevent the absurd use of force out of the frame of international legitimacy”.

Ja’afari said the United States should “play its role, as a peace sponsor and as a partner to Russia in the preparation for the international conference on Syria and not as a state that uses force against whoever opposes its policies”.

Syria denies using chemical weapons and accuses rebel groups, who have been fighting for more than two years to topple Assad, of using the banned weapons. At least 100,000 people have been killed in the conflict, which started in March 2011 with protests against four decades of Assad family rule.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday that tests showed sarin nerve gas was fired on rebel-held areas on August 21.

Ja’afari said Kerry had “adopted old stories fabricated by terrorists” based on fake photos from the Internet.

Recent Headlines

in National, World

Shrinking U.S. trade gap shows economy’s underlying strength

Fresh
trade

The U.S. trade deficit fell in July to its lowest level in five months as exports rose broadly, signaling underlying strength in the economy amid concerns about a global growth slowdown.

in Local

Third UMass Gang Rape Defendant Found Guilty

Fresh
Courtesy of Jerrey Roberts, Daily Hampshire Gazette. Adam Liccardi

A Hampshire Superior Court jury deliberated for 12 hours before yesterday afternoon finding Adam Liccadi guilty on three of four counts of aggravated rape.

in Local

West Springfield Police Probe Launched After Prisoner Escapes

Fresh
news-polic

Jose Rubet of Springfield was arrested August 22 after allegedly leading officers on a high-speed chase into Agawam. He was arrested and taken to lockup, where he later produced a knife which he waved at officers before escaping through an emergency exit.

in National

Kentucky clerk jailed for denying same-sex marriage licenses

Fresh
20-overlay2

The clerk has refused to issue licenses to any couples, gay or straight, since the U.S. Supreme Court in June ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry under the U.S. Constitution, citing her beliefs as an Apostolic Christian.

in Local

Hotel Northampton Workers Plan To Unionize

Updated
Hotel Northampton workers march to unionize. Courtesy of Jerrey Roberts, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Around 50 Hotel Northampton workers marched through downtown Tuesday night to announce their intention to bargain collectively. The group attempted to present their union petition to hotel owner Mansour Ghalibaf, who refused to come out of his office to accept it.