U.S. says it has 'proof' Syria's Assad used chemical weapons

2018 Anrew Mattews  AP      
                                               Oleg Barabanov

He warned that the crisis over Syria is a return to the Cold War, and increasing tensions are leading to a military escalation.

But France's United Nations ambassador Francois Delattre told the Security Council that in choosing once again to use banned chemical weapons against civilians, Assad's regime had "reached a point of no-return".

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.

"We call on the parties concerned to remain calm, exercise restraint, refrain from any move that may lead to further escalation of the situation, solve the issue peacefully through consultation and dialogue", said Ma.

"We hope that there will be no point of no return, that the U.S. and the allies will refrain from military action against a sovereign state", Nebenzia told reporters on Thursday, Xinhua news agency reported.

Guterres said "the Cold War is back with a vengeance but with a difference" because safeguards that managed the risk of escalation in the past "no longer seem to be present".

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".

"It will be in defense of a bedrock global norm that benefits all nations.the United States estimates that Assad has used chemical weapons in the Syrian war at least 50 times".

Echoing the USA stance, France's Ambassador Francois Delattre said Assad's government had reached a "point of no return" with repeated use of chemical weapons.

Moscow expects that both American politicians and its military brass will use their best judgement and prevent any possible confrontation between Russia and the United States, said Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya on Rossiya 24 TV live on Friday.

The global chemical weapons watchdog, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), has confirmed it will deploy a fact-finding mission to Douma "shortly".

"That would be an outrage if Syria were to take control of that", she said.

According to a statement by the French presidency, Macron called for dialogue between France and Russian Federation to "continue and intensify" to bring peace and stability to Syria.

The secretary-general urged the deeply divided Security Council, which has been paralyzed over Syria, to agree on a new body to determine responsibility for chemical attacks.

Both Syria and Russian Federation requested an FFM team to be dispatched after opposition groups claimed that the Syrian army executed a chemical weapons attack there, alleging there were scores of deaths and hundreds of casualties.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad denies using chemical weapons against civilians.

And he said the safeguards and mechanisms that managed the risk of escalation between the US and the Soviet Union in the past "no longer seem to be present".

As chemical weapons experts arrive in Syria to investigate, Moscow claims the alleged gas attack by government forces in Douma last Saturday was a fake, saying Britain was involved in staging these scenes.

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