Emergency Security Council session after US missile strikes

2017-04-07 18:40
UN Secretary Genera Antonio Guterres. (AP).

UN Secretary Genera Antonio Guterres. (AP).

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

New York - The UN Security Council met in an emergency session on Friday following the US missile strikes in Syria, with France and Britain voicing support for Washington's military response to a suspected chemical weapons attack.

France and Britain called for a renewed push for political negotiations to end the six-year war in Syria.

"The United Kingdom fully supports the United States' action overnight, which was an appropriate response to such a heinous crime, a war crime," British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said as he headed into the meeting.

US President Donald Trump on Thursday ordered cruise missile strikes on a Syrian air base in response to a suspected chemical attack on a rebel-held town that killed 86 people and shocked the world.

The strike - the first direct US action against President Bashar Assad and Trump's biggest military decision since taking office - marked a dramatic escalation in American involvement in Syria's six-year war.

Describing the US strikes as "appropriate", French Ambassador Francois Delattre expressed hope the US action would be a "game changer and help boost the political negotiations."

The council meeting was called by Bolivia, which branded the US strikes a violation of international law.

Bolivian Ambassador Sacha Lorenti said the United States had behaved like "investigator, attorney, judge and executioner" in Syria.

"This is not what international law is all about," he told reporters ahead of the meeting.

Russia angrily denounced the military action as an "aggression against a sovereign state".

Push for political talks 

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres urged restraint and a renewed push for peace in Syria, saying in a statement that "there is no other way to solve the conflict than through a political solution".

"It is it is time now to focus on the political process," Rycroft echoed.

Eighty-six people, including at least 27 children, died in the suspected attack in Khan Sheikhun. Results from post-mortems performed on victims point to exposure to the deadly sarin nerve agent, according to Turkish health officials.

Guterres called on the council to unite and agree on a way forward on Syria.

"For too long, international law has been ignored in the Syrian conflict, and it is our shared duty to uphold international standards of humanity," he said.

"This is a prerequisite to ending the unrelenting suffering of the people of Syria."

The Security Council failed during a meeting on Thursday to agree on terms for an investigation of the suspected sarin gas attack in Khan Sheikhun.

Russia's Deputy Ambassador Vladimir Safronkov on Thursday warned of "negative consequences" from the US military action, which he described as a "doubtful, tragic enterprise".

"Look at Iraq, look at Libya," he said, referring to Western interventions that unleashed years of chaos in those countries.

Read more on:    un  |  us  |  syria  |  military  |  syria conflict

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.