Samples taken from the site of a deadly toxic gas attack in Syria and analyzed by British scientists have tested positive for sarin or a sarin-like substance, Britain’s U.N. Ambassador Matthew Rycroft told the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday.
“The United Kingdom therefore shares the U.S. assessment that it is highly likely that the regime was responsible for a sarin attack on Khan Sheikhoun on 4 April,” Rycroft said.
Turkey’s EU Affairs Minister Ömer Çelik on Tuesday told Anadolu Agency (AA) that Assad manipulated efforts to resolve the six-year conflict in Syria while carrying out attacks on civilians.
“The world needs to use force to stop the massacres,” Çelik said. “We have always talked about the political solution until now but we know how Assad blocked the process towards any political solution. When the political solution is alive, Assad answers by using chemical weapons.”
Meanwhile, Italy’s Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano said that Syria cannot be rebuilt while Bashar al-Assad is still in power, stressing the key role of diplomacy in preventing a military escalation in the region.
“Whether or not Assad stays in power impacts on the security and stability of Syria and also the prospects for its reconstruction,” Alfano told the Senate on Wednesday.
“One cannot contemplate the rebuilding phase while Assad kills his own people and while bombs keep falling,” Alfano added. He pointed out that Europe will be able to play a leading role in the reconstruction process in Syria.
Russia blocked a Western-led effort at the UN Security Council on Wednesday to condemn last week’s deadly gas attack in Syria and push Bashar al-Assad to cooperate with international inquiries into the incident.
China abstained from Wednesday’s UN vote, along with Ethiopia and Kazakhstan. Ten countries voted in favor of the text, while Bolivia joined Russia in voting no.
It was the eighth time in six years that Moscow has used its veto power on the Security Council to shield the Assad regime. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)