International community needs to respond after Syria attack, agrees May

12 April, 2018, 07:22 | Author: Keith Rowe
  • Children in the Syrian town of Douma receiving emergency treatment following a toxic gas attack

The US carried out air strikes past year after the Syrian regime used a sarin nerve agent in an attack at Khan Sheikhoun that killed 90 people.

"If the United States are taking action, we should be prepared to be alongside them", Mr Blair told BBC radio.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday warned of a quick, forceful response once responsibility was established.

Photo taken on April 10, 2018 shows the United Nations Security Council voting on a Russian-drafted resolution on inquiry into chemical weapons use in Syria at the UN headquarters in NY.

Britain, France and the United States were among the seven countries that voted against the Russian proposal which they argued would not create an independent panel to investigate allegations of chemical weapons use.

"Since the beginning of the humanitarian operation in Eastern Ghouta terrorists have failed to fake a single so-called chemical weapon attack against the civilian population", he said.

He will remain in Washington to "oversee the American response to Syria", the White House said.

The Hague-based Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said Syria had been asked to make the necessary arrangements for the deployment of an investigation team.

As NPR's Michele Kelemen reports, the US -drafted resolution would have demanded access to the scene of the reported attack in Douma, a rebel-held area in the Damascus suburbs, and "would also create a new investigative mechanism to look into chemical weapons attacks in Syria and determine who is responsible". The Syrian government and its ally Russian Federation have denied involvement in the attack.

A draft resolution requires nine votes to be adopted in the 15-member council and no veto from the five permanent members - Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.

Syria became a member in 2013 as part of a deal brokered by the USA and Russian Federation after a chemical attack in eastern Ghouta killed hundreds of people.

But Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia has indicated the Kremlin might veto such a move because "it contains some unacceptable elements".

Syria's United Nations ambassador Bashar Jaafari responded by accusing Western powers of staging such attacks to justify military action against Damascus. A resolution would need nine votes and no vetos by Russia, Britain, China or the be approved.Russia says it does not agree with the USA draft.

Russian Federation first intervened in Syria in 2015, turning the tables in the multi-front civil war in favour of ally President Bashar al-Assad. That attack was widely blamed on government forces, who denied responsibility. Lyons called that response "small" and recommended Mr. Trump think "through whether he wants a tactical response, something quick on the ground, or he's got to think through the strategy hopefully involving our allies".



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