Russia voices concerns over looming Syria strike

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United Nations (UN) Russian Ambassador Vasily Nebenzia voiced concerns over an imminent strike against Syria by the United States and her allies, saying “the immediate priority is to avert the danger of war”.

The meeting was called by council member Bolivia after tweets from United States President Donald Trump indicated a clear intention to fire missiles at Syria over allegations the government there used chemical weapons in an attack on the formerly rebel-held town of Douma.

Diplomats argue that any strike against Syria without Council approval would be a violation of the UN Charter.

Nebenzia says, “The threat to international peace and security is a violation of the UN Charter. We are very concerned with this situation, with the dangerous escalation. We hope there will be no point of no return; that the US and their allies will refrain from military action against a sovereign state. You understand that the danger of escalation is higher than simply Syria because our military are there on the invitation of the Syrian government. So the situation is very dangerous.”

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called all permanent members of the Security Council to express his deep concern at the current impasse.

This after the body failed to pass several draft resolutions to establish a mechanism to investigate and attribute responsibly for the alleged chemical attack in Douma.

It was at this point that the US threats of a strike emerged on Twitter, leading to Bolivia’s Ambassador Sacha Sergio Llorenty Soliz calling for consultations on what is being called a threat to international peace and security.

Investigators from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons are en route to Syria to determine if an attack took place, but are not mandated to determine responsibility.

Meanwhile, Syria’s Ambassador Bashar al-Jaafari has vehemently denied responsibility for any chemical attack.

Non-permanent member Sweden has proposed a way forward including sending a high level disarmament mission to Syria to address all outstanding issues on the use of chemical weapons.

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