Draft UN resolution would compel Syria to share locations of all its jets

Published April 5th, 2017 - 08:00 GMT
A room in a hospital in Khan Shaykun after the building was hit by further airstrikes while treating the wounded from a chemical attack on the town. (AFP/Omar Haj Kadour)
A room in a hospital in Khan Shaykun after the building was hit by further airstrikes while treating the wounded from a chemical attack on the town. (AFP/Omar Haj Kadour)

The U.S., the U.K. and France on Tuesday prepared a draft UN resolution urging the Syrian regime to cooperate with a fact-finding mission after a reported chemical attack in Idlib killed at least 100 people.

The draft “condemns in the strongest terms” Tuesday’s attack on the town of Khan Shaykhun, expressing “outrage that individuals continue to be killed and injured by chemical weapons” in the war-torn country.

It calls on Bashar al-Assad’s regime to “cooperate fully” with a fact-finding mission by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

The resolution notably asks the regime to provide the mission with wide-ranging military information, including flight plans and logs, information on helicopter squadrons, and access to relevant military bases.

The UN Security Council will convene Wednesday morning to discuss the attack. It has not been announced whether the emergency meeting would include a vote on the draft resolution.

Earlier on Tuesday, Syrian opposition Health Minister Firas Jundi told a press conference in Idlib that raids carried out by regime warplanes “left over 100 people dead and 500 civilians, mostly children, injured”.

Jundi said the aircraft struck Khan Shaykhun with missiles containing “poisonous gas”, adding that the death toll was feared to rise.

A local civil defense official confirmed to Anadolu Agency that a regime aircraft carried out a chlorine gas attack on the town early Tuesday.

The attack has sparked international outrage.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement Tuesday he was "deeply disturbed" by the reports of a chemical attack.

His spokesman Stephane Dujarric earlier called the reports "extremely alarming and disturbing" and declared the OPCW fact-finding mission.

In a statement, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said of Assad: "Those who defend and support him, including Russia and Iran, should have no illusions about Assad or his intentions."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned the attack in a message posted on Twitter by her spokesman Steffen Seibert. “Such war crimes should be punished,” she said.


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