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West proposes UN draft resolution on Syria
The US, France and the UK have circulated in the UN Security Council a revised version of their draft resolution on the investigation into the alleged chemical attack in Syria's Khan Sheikhoun on April 4, the UK's Permanent Representative to the UN, Matthew Rycroft, said on Tuesday.
"With US & France, UK has circulated revised draft resolution on Syria condemning CW attack & requiring full cooperation with investigation," the diplomat wrote on Twitter. Rycroft called on all Security Council members to support the document and spoke out in favor of the "proper political process" that would lead to a peaceful settlement of the Syrian conflict.
Last week, three draft resolutions were submitted to the UN Security Council. The first one proposed by the UK, the UK and France demands that Damascus hand over all information on flights on the day of the incident to the Joint Investigative Mechanism of the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and provide access to the military bases from which strikes against Khan Sheikhoun could be carried out. The second draft resolution prepared by Russia envisages dispatching UN and OPCW experts to the area the alleged incident occurred in. The third draft resolution was circulated by the Security Council's 10 non-permanent members as a compromise option. The discussion of the documents was interrupted after the US carried out a missile strike against a military airfield in Syria's Homs province on April 7.
Earlier on Tuesday, French Permanent Representative, Francois Delattre, told reporters that the UN Security Council will resume work on the draft resolution to investigate the Khan Sheikhoun incident. "We believe that with respect to the CWs and to chemical attacks, we cannot give up and we must try in good faith best we can to have a text of the SC condemning the attack, asking for a thorough investigation," the diplomat said, adding that "the stakes are too high."
The US military fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a military airfield in Syria's Homs province overnight to April 7 on instructions issued by President Donald Trump. The strike came in response to what Washington believes was the Syrian government's use of chemical weapons in the Idlib province.
On April 4, Reuters cited the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights saying that an airstrike on Syrian's city of Khan Sheikhoun, in the Idlib province, had killed 58 people, including 11 children. Reuters alleged that the chemical attack could have been carried out by "Syrian government or Russian jets."
The Russian and Syrian militaries denied their involvement in the attack. Russia's Defense Ministry later said that on April 4, the Syrian air force had delivered an airstrike on the eastern outskirts of Khan Sheikhoun to destroy militant facilities used to produce chemical bombs. These bombs were sent to Iraq and were also used in Aleppo. Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow considers the US strike against an airbase in the Homs province an act of aggression against a sovereign nation.
[Source: Itar Tass, United Nations, 11Apr17]
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