United States statements on use of chemical weapons in Syria unacceptable
Jan 25, 2018, 01:56
"We requested an open Security Council meeting due to the fact that the issue which we intend to raise is far too important to hold the discussions in closed consultations". The diplomat also said United States was using the accusations to hamper Russia's peace efforts.
France, the United States and their allies want to press on with sanctions based on the findings of last year's expert inquiry, carried out in conjunction with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which found that the Syrian government had used sarin and chlorine gas against its own people.
Reports of chemical attacks on civilians and opposition fighters in Syria have continued to emerge since an attack in August 2013 killed more than 1,400 victims in East Ghouta near Damascus.
Tillerson's comments come a day after reports that Syrian government forces may have used chlorine gas in an attack Monday in Eastern Ghouta, an area near the capital of Damascus.
"After regime forces fired rockets into the western part of the city of Douma, white smoke spread, causing 21 cases of suffocation", it said.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said that Russian Federation bears the ultimate responsibility for suspected chemical weapon attacks carried out by the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Since the beginning of the war in Syria in 2011, the government of Bashar al-Assad has been repeatedly accused by United Nations investigators of using chlorine gas or sarin gas in sometimes lethal chemical attacks.
The call came less than 24 hours after Tillerson accused Russian Federation of being responsible for chemical weapons attacks in Syria - a charge that draw a furious response from Moscow.
Syria's Foreign Ministry called claims that it was still using chemical weapons "lies" aimed at "obstructing any effort toward finding a way out of the crisis in Syria", according to state news agency SANA.
In 2013 the previous USA administration, under president Barack Obama, balked at striking Syria over its alleged chemical arms use, choosing to work with Moscow on a disarmament plan.
"We wish to rise above these differences and to propose the establishment of a new global investigative body, which, on the basis of irreproachable and corroborated information received from transparent and credible sources, would be able to establish evidence for the Security Council to identify perpetrators in the use of chemical weapons or chemical warfare agents", Nebenzia told council members.
"This initiative puts those who ordered and carried out chemical weapons attacks on notice".
French Foreign Minister Le Drian on Tuesday joined Tillerson in expressing his concern about Turkey's military operation in Afrin.
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