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UNSC: Report on Assad's use of chemical weapons in Syria 'distressing'

Opposition forces receive medical treatment after the Assad regime allegedly carried out a chemical gas attack in the de-conflict zone in Damascus, Syria on 20 July 2017 [Alaa Muhammed/Anadolu Agency)
Syrians receive medical treatment after the Assad regime carried out a chemical gas attack in the de-conflict zone in Damascus, Syria on 20 July 2017 [Alaa Muhammed/Anadolu Agency]

United Nations Security Council members Britain, Estonia and Germany yesterday demanded accountability after a report found the regime of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad responsible for chemical weapons attacks in 2017.

An investigative team of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said in a 82-page report issued on 8 April that the Syrian Air Force dropped bombs containing either chlorine or sarin gases on a hospital and open farmland in the central town of Latamneh, injuring over 70 people and killing at least three — a surgeon and two others.

Syrian ally Russia dismissed the claims as "baseless", however Germany's deputy UN Ambassador Jurgen Schulz told the council: "Accountability is essential and impunity for these heinous crimes is not an option."

READ: A bloodbath on the border is not the solution to the Syrian refugee crisis

During the session, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the global body's disarmament chief Izumi Nakamitusu briefed the council, including on the findings of the OPCW report, and stressed that they were "deeply distressing".

Syria has denied accusations, with its Ministry of Foreign Affairs saying: "The OPCW released on April 8th, 2020, a misleading report for the so-called Investigation and Identification Team, to which Syria and a number of countries have announced that it is an illegitimate and unconventional team."

Bashar Al-Assad'schizophrenia: asking refugees to come back to Syria but at the same time keeps planning chemical attacks - Cartoon [Mohammad Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

Bashar Al-Assad'schizophrenia: asking refugees to come back to Syria but at the same time keeps planning chemical attacks – Cartoon [Mohammad Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

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Europe & RussiaGermanyInternational OrganisationsMiddle EastNewsRussiaSyriaUN
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