Published: Sun, April 15, 2018
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Secretary-General's statement on Syria

Secretary-General's statement on Syria

The three countries jointly launched strikes targeting the Assad regime's alleged chemical weapons research center near Damascus, a chemical weapons warehouse and a command center related to chemical weapons located west of Homs, U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford said at a joint news conference with American Secretary of Defense James Mattis.

Syria and Russian Federation have denied that the attack involved chemical weapons. I call on the members of the Security Council to unite and exercise that responsibility.

United Nations partner the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has deployed a fact-finding mission to the area.

"This is hooliganism in worldwide affairs, and not minor hooliganism, as we are talking about major nuclear powers", the Russian envoy added.

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However, Russia severely condemned the attack and said it is calling for emergency session of the UN Security Council to discuss the missile strikes. The draft, which sought to condemn the strikes as a violation of worldwide law and the U.N. Charter, received only three votes in favor from the 15 council members. "We call on all sides to refrain from actions inconsistent with the UN Charter", Pakistan Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Faisal said. "I would remind them that that charter was not designed in order to protect criminals".

"Washington has adopted a categorical policy to unleash a military scenario against Syria", the Russian ambassador to the U.N., Vasilly Nebenzia, told the council.

Britain's ambassador said she would "take no lessons" in worldwide law from Russian Federation.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley said no decision had been taken to launch strikes and stressed Washington was taking time to assess the implications of possible military action after Russia warned it could lead to a unsafe US-Russian war.

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The three allies have not given up on a political solution to the Syrian conflict.

"I have also been closely following developments in the Security Council and regret that the Council has so far been unable to reach agreement on this issue", Guterres said in a statement.

"We are following the situation in Syria with grave concern". He said he would have his Syria envoy, Staffan de Mistura, travel to NY as soon as possible to consult with him on the most effective way to accelerate the political process.

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Russia, a key ally of the Assad government, is calling for an immediate UN Security Council meeting, he said. Mr Putin added that Russian military experts who inspected Douma found no trace of the attack.

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