UN Chief Presses Security Council For Action Over Syria

2018 Anrew Mattews  AP      
                                               Oleg Barabanov

2018 Anrew Mattews AP Oleg Barabanov

The United Nations Secretary-General has called on the worldwide community to avoid actions which could escalate the crisis in Syria and deepen the suffering of its people.

He said any US military action against Syria would be a violation of global law.

Guterres called on all the United Nations members to "unite" to deter further escalation that might aggravate the suffering that the Syrian people have endured during the conflict. "I urge the Security Council to assume its responsibilities and fill this gap", he said.

Any countries that carry out a strike on Syria over the use of chemical weapons could defend the action under Article 51 of the U.N. Charter, which covers an individual or collective right to self-defense against armed attack, diplomats said.

On Tuesday, a U.S drafted resolution on a new mechanism to investigate chemical weapons use in Syria was vetoed by Russian Federation, whose draft resolution on the same issue failed to win majority support. "We're ready to escort them to where they want, whenever they want, anytime they want".

Earlier, Guterres again called for the creation of an independent panel that could determine who used chemical weapons in Syria, as the absence of such a body increases the risks of a military escalation in a country already riven by confrontations and proxy wars.

Last October, the Council failed to renew the mandate of a UN-OPCW body, known as the Joint Inspection Mechanism, which was established three years ago.

Russia, a major Syrian ally, said Tuesday it will propose a United Nations resolution to investigate the alleged attack.

"Increasing tensions and the inability to reach a compromise in the establishment of an accountability mechanism threaten to lead to a full-blown military escalation". I reiterate: "there is no military solution to the conflict", he said. Guterres reaffirmed his full support for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and its fact-finding mission which "should be granted full access, without any restrictions or impediments to perform its activities", Guterres added.

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