United Nations chief says Syria tensions could spark 'full-blown military escalation'

2018 Anrew Mattews  AP      
                                               Oleg Barabanov

2018 Anrew Mattews AP Oleg Barabanov

"We continue to observe risky military preparations for an illegal act of force against a sovereign state", Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told the Security Council.

The U.N. chief told an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council Friday called by Russian Federation that the highly volatile situation risks "escalation, fragmentation and division as far as the eye can see with profound regional and global ramifications".

French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his "deep concerns" over the deterioration of the situation in Syria in a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

A competing draft penned by Russian Federation, which would have established the mechanism for one year as well but would have given the Security Council the responsibility to assign accountability for the use of chemical weapons in Syria, was also not adopted.

Following airstrikes on Damascus, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said that all countries are obliged to "act consistently" with the UN Charter, noting that the document is "very clear on these issues".

Asked whether there will be war between the United States and Russian Federation in case of a USA military strike against Syria, Nebenzia said: "We can not exclude any possibility, unfortunately, because we saw messages that are coming from Washington - they were very bellicose".

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Pierce said the cabinet met recently and concluded that the "Assad regime" has a track record of using chemical weapons.

"I wish there was dialogue through appropriate channels to avert any unsafe development".

"Perpetrators of such attacks must be identified and held accountable", the UN's International Commission of Inquiry on Syria said in a statement, noting that the use of such weapons is strictly banned under a global treaty ratified by Syria.

"All nations and all people will be harmed if we allow Assad to normalise the use of chemical weapons", Haley said. Six of those resolutions would have condemned the regime for chemical weapons attacks.

The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has said the situation in Syria "represents the most serious threat to global peace and security".

The secretary-general urged the deeply divided Security Council, which has been paralyzed over Syria, to agree on a new body to determine responsibility for chemical attacks.

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This situation has repercussions beyond the region and has ramifications in the entire world: the Cold War has returned, he said when intervening in the Security Council.

Russia's foreign minister has asserted that a suspected chemical attack in the Syrian town of Douma last weekend was fabricated with the help of an unspecified foreign intelligence agency.

Antonio Guterres also warned about the dangers of escalation over Syria. "No country can be allowed to use chemical weapons with impunity".

Trump's spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Washington also holds Assad's ally "Russia responsible for their failure to stop chemical weapons attacks from taking place".

At least 60 people were killed and more than 1,000 injured in Saturday's suspected chemical weapons attack on the town of Douma, according to a Syrian relief group. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, speaks at a briefing in Moscow on April 13, 2018.

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