United States claims 'proof' of Syria gas attack, readies response


The warning from Moscow came as United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that increasing tensions over Syria could lead to "full-blown military escalation".

After refusing to accept findings on Syrian government responsibility for last year's attack on civilians in Khan Sheikhoun, Russia used its Security Council veto to block the UN from maintaining a UN-Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons joint investigative mechanism working independently and impartially to uncover the perpetrators for such attacks.

Guterres called on all the United Nations members to "unite" to deter further escalation that might aggravate the suffering that the Syrian people have endured during the conflict.

He said the highly volatile situation risks "escalation, fragmentation and division as far as the eye can see with profound regional and global ramifications".

"The Cold War is back - with a vengeance but with a difference", Gutteres warned.

Macron claimed in a TV interview Thursday that he had "proof" that Assad's regime had used chemical weapons and vowed a response "in due course".

Speakers at the event said young people were prime targets of extremist recruiters but they could also play leadership roles in fighting terrorism and creating greater opportunities for all.

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Even the threat of use of force is against the UN Charter, he said.

He called on the United States, France and Britain "not to bring the world to such a unsafe threshold".

Under U.N. rules, the Syrian ambassador to the forum, Hussam Edin Aala, will "represent the body in its relations with states, the General Assembly and other organs of the United Nations, and with other worldwide organizations".

According to a statement of the French presidency, Macron calls for dialogue between France and Russian Federation to "continue and intensify" to bring peace and stability to Syria. The United States and other countries then blocked a rival Russian bid to set up a different probe that would require the Security Council to attribute responsibility.

"Unilaterally taking military action by circumventing the Security Council is inconsistent with the principles and purposes of the UN Charter and runs counter to the norms of global law and those governing worldwide relations". Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said that images of victims of the purported attack were fakes staged with "Britain's direct involvement", without providing evidence.

Russian Federation has said it deployed military police in Douma on Thursday after the town was taken over by Syrian government forces.

Worldwide experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons were due in Syria over the weekend to inspect the site where dozens of civilians reportedly died in a gas attack.

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