Britain and France want the United Nations Security Council to ban the sale or supply of helicopters to the Assad regime and to blacklist 11 Assad regime military commanders and officials over chemical weapons attacks.
The pair have drafted a resolution that also seeks to blacklist 10 Assad regime and related entities involved in the development and production of chemical weapons and the missiles to deliver them. They could be subjected to a global asset freeze and travel ban by the UN Security Council.
The UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) have found that the Assad regime forces were responsible for three chlorine gas attacks and that the Islamic State militants have used mustard gas.
Experts from the 15 Security Council members informally discussed the draft on Tuesday, diplomats said, and Assad regime ally Russia, one of five council veto powers, made clear it would not support the text.
The UN / OPCW inquiry found Assad regime forces have used helicopters to drop barrel bombs containing chlorine gas.
British UN Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said there must be “significant measures” to follow up on the panel’s findings and called for sanctions. “We’ll be pursuing that with our council colleagues and circulating a draft shortly,” Rycroft told reporters on Wednesday.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said that those responsible for the use of chemical weapons in Syria must be held accountable, adding that he could not accept the justifications made by some countries to overlook the use of those weapons. Ayrault was making indirect reference to Moscow, which has so far vetoed six UN Security Council resolutions aimed to condemn or punish the Assad regime.
Member of the Syrian Coalition’s political committee Fuad Alliko called on Russia not to block the resolution and to stop defending the crimes committed by the Assad regime inside the UN Security Council.
Alliko renewed condemnation of chemical attacks carried out by the Assad regime that claimed the lives of thousands of innocent civilians, calling for a mechanism to punish the perpetrators under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Office + Agencies)