UK drafts Syria UN resolution

LONDON - The UK is to put a resolution to the UN Security Council later on Wednesday "authorising necessary measures to protect civilians" in Syria.

The resolution will be put forward at a meeting of the five permanent members of the council, UK Prime Minister David Cameron said on Twitter.

Earlier a team of UN weapons inspectors resumed work investigating an suspected chemical weapons attack on 21 August.

The UN secretary general said they needed four days to end their probe.

Ban Ki-moon added that they would need more time after this to analyse their findings.

He also called on the council to act together.

"The body interested with maintaining international peace and security cannot be 'missing in action'," Mr Ban said.

"The council must at last find the unity to act. It must use its authority for peace," he went on.

Mr Cameron said in another message: "We've always said we want the UN Security Council to live up to its responsibilities on Syria."

"Today they have an opportunity to do that," he said. The draft resolution would condemn the "chemical weapons attack by Assad", he added.

Mr Cameron will chair an emergency meeting of the UK's National Security Council at midday local time (11:00 GMT) to discuss possible responses to the crisis.

Meanwhile, in a briefing to journalists, joint UN-Arab League envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi said: "It does seem clear that some kind of substance was used... that killed a lot of people" on 21 August.

Footage shows UN inspectors in Syria

But he emphasised that any military action needed Security Council authorisation.
'Further destabilisation'

Russia and China have previously vetoed resolutions critical of Syria and may block any text deemed to approve military action.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned that "attempts at a military solution will lead only to the further destabilisation" in Syria and the region.

Mr Lavrov emphasised the need for a political solution in a phone call to Mr Brahimi, the foreign ministry in Moscow said.

Russia, China and Iran have previously warned against launching an attack on the war-ravaged country, where more than 100,000 people are thought to have died in two years of fighting.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned on Wednesday that US intervention would be a "disaster" for the region.

"The region is like a gunpowder store and the future cannot be predicted," Mr Khamenei said, according to Iran's Isna news agency.

Stocks have fallen on global markets and oil prices have shot up amid growing concern about an impending attack.

US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel told the BBC on Tuesday that the US military was ready to launch strikes should President Barack Obama order an attack.

Mr Cameron said the world could "not stand idly by", and French President Francois Hollande said France was "ready to punish" whoever was behind the attack.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.