US, Allies Tell UN: Syria Strikes Legal, Justified

  • US, Allies Tell UN: Syria Strikes Legal, Justified

US, Allies Tell UN: Syria Strikes Legal, Justified

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Saturday called for restraint and for countries to avoid any acts that could escalate the situation in Syria after the United States, France and Britain carried out strikes.

Air strikes by the allies on Saturday hit three targets that Western officials said were linked to chemical weapons development in the Damascus and Homs areas. Russia, China and Bolivia supported the measure, while four members abstained and eight voted against - including the U.S., Britain and France.

Russian Federation and China vetoed a measure in February which would have imposed sanctions on Syria for past chemical weapon attacks.

"This is how you want worldwide affairs to be conducted now?" said an irritated Vassily Nebenzia.

Moscow's efforts to win Security Council condemnation of the strikes in a resolution overwhelmingly failed.

France's U.N. Ambassador Francois Delattre said the result of the vote sends "a clear message" that Security Council members recognized the need for the airstrikes, and "their proportional and targeted nature".

Russian Federation has countered that the US-led action was aimed at overthrowing Assad and keeping Moscow's influence in check. "I would remind them that that charter was not designed in order to protect criminals".

Britain believes "that is wholly within the principles and practices of the United Nations", she said.

He went on to stress that the UN Security Council, of which the three countries are permanent members, "has primary responsibility for the maintenance of worldwide peace and security".

She told reporters ahead of the meeting that London "believes it was both right and legal" to take military action "to alleviate further humanitarian suffering by degrading the Syrian regime's chemical weapon capability and deterring the use of chemical weapons".

Nebenzia responded saying the environment is "not very conducive for any rapprochement" and "the political and unsafe military situation we are in now" must be sorted out first.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned against any further escalation after the U.S., U.K., and France jointly launched airstrikes targeting the Assad regime's alleged chemical weapons capabilities in Syria.

Guterres said he has asked Syrian special envoy Staffan de Mistura to come to NY as soon as possible to consult "on the most effective way to accelerate the political process".