Tuesday, 24 April, 2018

United States at UN Makes Case for Military Action Against Syria

Syria chemical attack evidence must be preserved U.N UN chief Antonio Guterres calls for peace in Syria, asks P5 nations to reach an agreement
Anna Jefferson | 14 April, 2018, 16:08

Western nations, particularly France, the United States, and the United Kingdom, have blamed the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad for the attack, and have been considering a military response to the incident.

"I have been following closely the reports of air strikes in Syria conducted by the US, France and the UK".

"There's an obligation, particularly when dealing with the matters of peace and security, to act consistently with the Charter of the United Nationals and with global law in general", Guterres said in a statement over the coordinated series of airstrikes by the USA, the UK and France in Syria. "The UN Charter is very clear on these issues", he said.

Both Syria and its ally Russian Federation have said they would guarantee the safety and security of the OPCW mission - the first outside Damascus since 2014.

Mr. Guterres deplored the use of chemical weapons, which he described as "abhorrent".

"France will shoulder its responsibility to end an intolerable threat to our collective security", he added, before calling for an end to the "chemical weapons escalation in Syria". "I urge the Security Council to assume its responsibilities and fill this gap", he said.

The United States is consulting with Britain and France about a joint military response to an alleged toxic gas attack in Douma that medics and rescuers said left at least 40 people dead on Saturday.

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The last time Syria dropped a chemical weapon on its own people, Trump launched missiles at an airbase that had been abandoned. Russian Federation has described the reports of a chemical attack as a "provocation" created to justify Western intervention.

Guterres remarks came after the mandate of the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM), which was created as a body to attribute responsibility for the use of chemical weapons in Syria in 2015, expired in November past year.

Guterres, in a letter to the Council two days ago, expressed his "deep disappointment" at the failure of establishing an accountability mechanism similar to JIM.

Citing US estimates that Assad has used chemical weapons "at least 50 times" in the seven-year war, Haley said: "All nations and all people will be harmed if we allow Assad to normalize the use of chemical weapons".

Addressing the Security Council, Haley laid out Washington's case for resorting to force, challenging Russia's claim that military action would be in violation of worldwide law.

The United Nations Secretary-General has called on the worldwide community to avoid actions which could escalate the crisis in Syria and deepen the suffering of its people.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has been "working in close collaboration" with United Nations security experts "to assess the situation and ensure the safety of the team", it said.

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