Perpetrators of Syria CW attack must be held accountable, Ban Ki-moon says

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the use of chemical weapons in last month’s attack in Syria and demanded the perpetrators of the deadly attack be brought to justice.

“This is a war crime and a grave violation of the 1925 Protocol and other rules of customary international law. I trust all can join me in condemning this despicable crime,” Ban said in a briefing to the UN Security Council on Monday.

“The international community has a responsibility to hold the perpetrators accountable and to ensure that chemical weapons never re-emerge as an instrument of warfare,” he said.

A UN report on the August 21 attack confirmed “unequivocally and objectively” that chemical weapons were used, the UN chief noted.

The report by chief UN chemical weapons investigator Ake Sellstrom, which was presented to the UN Security Council on Monday, said there was “clear and convincing evidence that surface-to-surface rockets containing the nerve agent sarin were used” in that attack.

The UN team’s mandate did not include assigning blame for the attack.

Hundreds of people were killed and scores of others were injured in the chemical attack which took place in the suburbs of the Syrian capital Damascus.

It is “the most significant confirmed use of chemical weapons against civilians since Saddam Hussein used them in Halabja in 1988,” Ban said.

The militants operating inside Syria and the foreign-backed Syrian opposition claimed that the deadly attack was carried out by the army.

Damascus, however, has strongly denied the accusation, saying it was a false-flag operation carried out by Takfiri groups in a bid to draw in foreign military intervention.

Following the chemical attack, the US called for punitive military action against Damascus. The Syrian government averted possible US aggression by accepting a Russian plan to put its chemical arsenal under international control and then have them destroyed.

By Press TV


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