Bolivia requests UNSC meeting over Syria strike threat

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United Nations Security Council (UNSC) member Bolivia has requested a meeting of the council on Thursday over the threat of unilateral military action against Syria by the United States.

This while the United Nations refused to be drawn into hypotheticals regarding a possible missile strike against Syria but has urged the international community to find a political solution.

US President Donald Trump warned Russia to be ready for US missile strikes against Syria after Moscow vetoed a Security Council resolution Wednesday to establish an independent investigative mechanism to investigate and determine responsibility for chemical attacks in Syria.

The tweet from President Trump warned Russia to get ready for “nice, new and smart” missiles and slamming Moscow for partnering with what he called a “gas killing animal” in a reference to Syrian president Bashar al Assad.

The UN Secretary General Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric would not be drawn on hypothetical strikes.

“The Secretary General is first and foremost concerned about the fate of the civilian population in Syria. He’s concerned about the lack of political progress that can bring peace and solace to the people of Syria. He would like to see the Security Council and the international community united in finding a political solution to the current conflict in Syria.”

The United States had previously indicated that in the absence of Security Council action in the face of chemical attacks, they could act unilaterally and that was still a work in progress.

Tuesday’s Security Council session failed on three occasions to adopt resolutions to investigate alleged chemical attacks in Syria, with Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia appealing to Trump to refrain from further threats.

“You are very good at threatening and the threats you are proffering, that you are now stating vis-a-vis Syria should make us seriously worried, all of us, because we could find ourselves on the threshold of some very sad and serious events. I would once again ask you, once again beseech you, to refrain from the plans that you’re currently developing for Syria.”

Bolivia cautioned that any unilateral action could be in violation of the UN Charter and international law.

Ambassador Sacha Sergio Llorentty Soliz says: “And that’s really what is at stake here, what we’re playing with here, the fate of the Charter, whether all of us are prepared to abide by what the charter says to us and the responsibilities therein and one of the responsibilities in that charter is that of refraining from taking unilateral actions and I hope that that particular principle will also be upheld.”

We have seen unilateral action by the United States in Syria before – when President Trump ordered 59 Tomahawk missiles fired at a Syrian military base last year; an installation reported to be the origin of chemical attack in the town Khan Sheikhoun at the time.

It’s worth noting that investigators from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons have been dispatched to Syria to determine the varsity of the latest chemical attack allegations in the town Douma.