March 27, 2019

UN Council Must Prevent Syria 'Spiralling Out Of Control' - Guterres

14 April 2018, 05:45 | Randall Craig

RELATED READINGChemical weapons organisation to inspect attack site in Syria

The OPCW team will travel to Douma in Syria to investigate whether a chemical attack took place

The U.N. Security Council has rejected a Russian resolution that would have created a new expert body to determine responsibility for chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

On Tuesday the deeply divided Council failed to pass a resolution to launch or support a probe into the alleged use of chemical weapons Saturday in Douma, near Damascus, despite three separate votes on rival proposals from the United States and Russian Federation.

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said the draft resolution was not impartial or independent since it would allow Russian Federation to veto investigators and staff for the new body - and to block its findings.

However, early on Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Russia-US tensions over Syria appeared to be easing.

China has supported the Russian-sponsored draft resolution, stating that it would be a great improvement over the previous UN-sponsored investigative bodies for Syria. He said in televised remarks Tuesday that Russian advisers are deployed across Syria and could be hurt by a US strike.

Later, the council rejected a Russian resolution that would have welcomed an investigation by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPWC) into the suspected poison gas attack.

"Let us not forget that, ultimately, our efforts must be about ending the awful suffering of the Syrian people", he said.

Last year, the United States launched strikes from two Navy destroyers against a Syrian air base.

His remarks came after Trump said he was considering military action against Syria in response to a suspected chemical attack on civilians.

French President Emmanuel Macron stated on Tuesday that any strikes wouldn't goal the Syrian authorities's allies or anyone particularly, however could be aimed on the Syrian authorities's chemical amenities.

"I would once again ask you, once again beseech you to refrain from the plans that you are now developing for Syria", he said. Russian Federation has countered that such a move would have "grave repercussions".

"The group is getting ready to deploy to Syria shortly", it stated in an announcement.

"Syria is eager on cooperating with the OPCW to uncover the reality behind the allegations that some Western sides have been promoting to justify their aggressive intentions", Syria's state information company SANA stated.

A European source said European governments were waiting for the OPCW to carry out its investigation and for more solid forensic evidence from the attack to emerge. Moscow and Washington had traded bitter accusations over potential American military action.

In Syria, 1000's of militants and their households arrived in rebel-held components of the nation's northwest after surrendering Douma to authorities forces.

Their evacuation restored Assad's control over eastern Ghouta, formerly the biggest rebel bastion near Damascus, and gave him his biggest battlefield victory since 2016, when he took back Aleppo. "We just have to hope that Moscow will not overreact when the strikes come".

Russian Federation put forward its own proposal in January that has been rejected by Western powers who say it would give the Syrian government an upper hand over investigations on its territory. TASS information company quoted him as saying he believed frequent sense would prevail.

A Russian warplane flew over a French warship at low altitude in the eastern Mediterranean this weekend, a deliberate breach of global regulations, a French naval source said on Tuesday. The Aquitaine is equipped with 16 cruise missiles and 16 surface-to-air missiles.

"That will give the United States and possibly France an excuse for military action", said Gowan.

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