Great Britain Accuses Assad of Covering Chemical Weapons Program
Great Britain has accused the Assad regime of covering its chemical weapons program despite repeated international warnings as France has threatened to launch new military attacks against the Assad regime if it uses these internationally banned weapons once again.
Hours before a UN Security Council closed monthly session to discuss the use of chemical weapons in Syria, Deputy Permanent Representative of Great Britain to the United Nations Jonathan Allen said that London considers suspicious the fact that the Assad regime did not fulfill its obligations to destroy its stockpiles of chemical weapons.
"The Syrian regime did not provide a full report on its activities, did not finish its declaration, as the OPCW requires, each time presenting a lot of excuses," Allen told a press conference on Tuesday.
The British Deputy Secretary of State believes that the actions of the Assad regime raise suspicions. "There is a reason why they do not want to finish the declaration and answer the questions - it's because they continue to cover the chemical weapons program," Allen added.
The UN Security Council earlier failed to renew the mandate of the Joint Investigative Mechanism of the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), formed to determine the perpetrators of chemical-weapons attacks in Syria. Russia yielded its veto power three times on the Council to prevent the renewal of the mandate, which expired in November of 2017.
UN Security Council member states have yet to reach agreement on a new mechanism.
Meanwhile, Paris will consider launching strikes against the Assad regime once more should Assad repeat his use of chemical weapons. “The aim of the [April 14] attack on Syria was to prevent Bashar Assad from repeating such strikes. If this happens, we can consider the possibility to repeat the strikes,” French Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly told French radio RTL.
In late April, CNN news network revealed that Iran was sending suspicious military shipments to the Assad regime via air flights, adding that the shipments had continued even after the launch of missiles strikes on military positions of the Assad regime and the Iranian militias on April 13.
The Syrian Coalition earlier called for activating the international mechanism to hold war criminals in Syria accountable, especially after the revelation of thousands of documents proving widespread war crimes were committed in Syria, mostly at the hands of the Assad regime and its allies.
The Coalition underscored that all investigations indicated the Assad regime continued to import materials for the manufacture of chemical weapons. It called for firm response to all terrorist practices being carried out by the Assad regime and not to focus on chemical weapons only. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)