IAEA probes risks threatening Syria nuclear sites

IAEA probes risks threatening Syria nuclear sites
Mon Sep 9, 2013 21:19:36

The UN nuclear watchdog says that the international body has opened a probe into the risks of possible US air strike on Syria.

The investigation by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) came upon the request of Moscow which raised concerns over dire consequences in case of bomb attack against Syria.

Yukiya Amano, the Director-General of the UN nuclear watchdog confirmed on Monday he had received a letter from Russia calling on the atomic authority to analyze the risks of a warhead striking Syria’s Miniature Neutron Source Reactor (MNSR) near Damascus or other nuclear sites, the Voice of Russia reported.

According to Amano, the message had been circulated among IAEA’s members and was reviewed by the agency.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov earlier met with his Syrian counterpart, Walid al-Muallem, stressing there was no alternative to a peace settlement in Syria.

“Russia’s stance is quite clear and does not change that easily,” Lavrov said.

The call for military action against Syria intensified after foreign-backed opposition forces accused the Syrian government of launching a chemical attack on militant strongholds in the suburbs of Damascus on August 21.

Damascus has vehemently denied the accusations, saying the chemical attack was carried out by the militants themselves as a false flag operation.

Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to reports, the western powers and their regional allies -- especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey -- are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.

According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and a total of 7.8 million of others displaced due to the violence.


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