Guterres urges UNSC unity after 'outrageous' chemical weapons attack in Syria

New York, April 11 (IANS/AKI) United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday said he was "outraged" by reports of a chemical weapons attack in the Syrian town of Douma and urged the UN Security Council to "find unity" in a vote on US and Russian draft resolutions on the incident.

"I am outraged by the continued reports of use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic," he said in a statement.

"I reiterate my strong condemnation of the use of chemical weapons against the civilian population. Any confirmed use of chemical weapons, by any party to the conflict and under any circumstances, is abhorrent and a clear violation of international law.

Guterres said he fully supported the fact-finding mission by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons which the OPCW said on Tuesday would deploy to Syria "shortly".

The mission should be granted full access to the site of the alleged chemical attack "without any restrictions or impediments to perform its activities.

"The norms against chemical weapons must be upheld. I appeal to the Security Council to fulfil its responsibility and find unity on this issue. I also encourage the Council to redouble its efforts to agree on a dedicated mechanism for accountability."

"I stand ready to support such efforts," he said.

The US draft Security Council resolution wants a new panel to be set up that would investigate and apportion blame for chemical attacks in Syria, but Russia is likely to veto the proposal. Syria and its military backer, Russia, both said they wanted to facilitate a visit by inspectors.

Syria denies being behind any chemical attack.

Dozens were killed in the alleged chemical attack on the rebel enclave of Douma in Eastern Ghouta outside Damascus and but exact numbers are impossible to verify. International humanitarian organisations have not been allowed to enter Douma since early March due to a government's siege.

US President Donald Trump has pledged a "forceful" response to the Douma attack, and has spoken of numerous military options.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel