Sweden proposes United Nations team go to Syria to fix chemical weapons issue

Faith Castro
April 16, 2018

Russia, a Syrian ally, has warned the United States that air strikes risk a new war.

While no evidence has been publicly put forward regarding the attacks, several NGOs - including the controversial White Helmets - claim that a gas, probably sarin, was used in Douma on April 7.

"God forbid anything adventurous will be done in Syria following the Libyan and Iraqi experience", Mr Lavrov told a news conference on Friday.

"The Cold War is back - with a vengeance but with a difference", Guterres told the Security Council during a meeting requested by Russian Federation.

The Western attack on Syria on Saturday will not have any impact on the Syrian army's resolve to press the fight against militants and restore control of the entire country, the Syrian foreign ministry said. The draft resolution would have endorsed an ongoing probe being conducted by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) but would have done nothing else.

Why is the West considering military action? Both European allies have pledged a "joint response" to the alleged chemical attack.

Despite allegations that it carried out yet another deadly chemical-weapons attack last Saturday, Syria will next month chair the United Nations disarmament forum that produced the treaty banning chemical weapons.

Fears of confrontation between Russian Federation, the Syrian state's key ally, and the West ran high after Mr Trump said missiles "will be coming" and lambasted Moscow for standing by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

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After six weeks of heavy fighting and an estimated 1,700 civilian deaths in the Eastern Ghouta region, the Syrian government is now said to have control of the area, which lies just outside Damascus.

"You are not only placing yourselves above global law, but you are trying to re-write worldwide law", Nebenzia said.

And US ambassador Nikki Haley, while allowing that Washington is still weighing its options and pursuing its own investigation, warned her colleagues, "At one point, you have to do something".

Macron said Thursday on French national television France has proof that the Syrian government launched chlorine gas attacks and has crossed a line that could prompt French airstrikes.

Terming any use of chemical weapons as "abhorrent", the United Nations head said: "The suffering it causes is horrendous".

It condemns "in the strongest terms" any use of chemical weapons in Syria and expresses alarm at the alleged incident in Douma last weekend; demands full access and cooperation for the OPCW fact-finding mission; expresses the Council's determination to establish a new impartial and independent attribution mechanism, based on a proposal by the Secretary-General; and requests the Secretary-General to dispatch immediately a high-level disarmament mission to Syria.

They agreed to "keep working closely" on the issue, Mrs May's office said in a statement.

On Sunday, the day after the attack, the United States president said Russian President Vladimir Putin bore responsibility for the "atrocity" in rebel-held Douma, because of his support for the Syrian government.

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