Wednesday, February 14, 2018

UN Can't Verify Claims of Chemical Attacks in Syria 'Independently' - De Mistura

UN Can't Verify Claims of Chemical Attacks in Syria 'Independently'
The United Nations is unable to independently confirm allegations of recent chemical attacks in several locations in Syria, UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura told the Security Council.

"There have been several allegations of chlorine attacks in Ghouta, in Idlib, and also now recently in Afrin. While we cannot independently verify these allegations, but if confirmed, it is outrageous and should have no impunity," UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said.

The statement came shortly after US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the United States was alarmed over reports that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons near Idlib's city of Saraqib. Nauert also said Washington believed Russia was shielding the Syrian government from accountability for its alleged continued use of chemical weapons.

Staffan de Mistura reiterated Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' appeal to those fighting and all concerned "to de-escalate immediately and unconditionally." And he asked Russia, Iran and Turkey "to use their influence to help reduce violence."

1 comment :

  1. Israel has vowed a “punishing response” if the Syrian regime deploys chemical weapons near its border, Israeli media reported Thursday...

    “The Foreign Ministry fears poison gas may leak into Israel if the Assad regime uses chemical weapons against rebels near the Golan Heights and has reportedly warned of a punishing response should such a situation unfold,” the Times of Israel news website reported.

    The ministry, the newspaper added, had sent a classified message to 15 Israeli ambassadors overseas, providing them with “guidelines for sending strong messages against Iran, Syria and Hezbollah”.

    According to the Times of Israel, the message instructed the diplomats to make clear “that such an incident [i.e., the use of chemical weapons near the border] would require Israel to respond in the strongest possible terms”.

    “We must convey the message that Israel… will defend itself, its citizens, and its sovereignty,” the message read, according to the newspaper.

    The message also reportedly warned that Iran’s military successes in Syria could encourage it to stage attacks on Israel, which, it warned, could lead to an escalation of hostilities across the entire region.

    The latest developments come amid mounting tension in the region after an Israeli F-16 was shot down over Syrian territory on Saturday.


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