Australia condemns alleged Syria chemical attack
- Author: Leroy Wright Apr 05, 2017,
Apr 05, 2017, 12:58
A suspected chemical attack killed at least 58 civilians in opposition-held northwestern Syria on Tuesday, a monitor said, prompting global outrage and calls for worldwide action.
The suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria is a "moment of truth" that must be investigated, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has said.
Although many are blaming Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for the attack, Fares Shehabi, a government supporter and member of the Syrian parliament, says that's nonsense. French President Francois Hollande directly blamed Syrian government forces and said President Bashar al-Assad's allies were emboldening him to act with impunity.
"President Obama said in 2012 that he would establish a "red line" against the use of chemical weapons and then did nothing", he added.
The United States, Britain and France on Tuesday proposed a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning the attack, which they have blamed on Assad's forces.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said the attack was a way of testing the Trump administration and urged Washington to clarify its position on Assad.
Obama aides declined Tuesday to comment on Trump's assignment of blame for the new chemical attack.
She said that her field team had reported that, while nerve gas can not be confirmed at this time, based on the symptoms of the patients, doctors believe that this is some form of organophosphate nerve agent. Some appear foaming at the mouth. More than 250,000 people have been killed.
He called on the "conscious of those with political responsibility both locally and internationally to cease this tragedy and bring relief to that dear population that for too long has been exhausted by war". Chlorine isn't a banned chemical substance, though it can not be used as a weapon of war. "Two children who took a while before they were lifted out of the rubble died", he said.
Eyewitnesses said the attack's aftermath was nightmarish and unlike anything that they had previously seen.
Mohammed Hassoun, a media activist in the nearby town of Sarmin, where some of the critical cases were transferred, said doctors there also believed it was likely more than one gas.
The doctor, who can not be named for security reasons, said tests were needed to identify whether sarin gas was to blame. He put on a mask, and he and others took victims to an emergency room. And, in a nod to Tillerson and Haley, he said: "The recent statements by USA officials suggesting otherwise only serve to legitimize the actions of this war criminal in Damascus".
Eliot Higgins, the founder of the online investigative network Bellingcat, has been sorting through the dozens of videos citizens and activists have been sending out recording the aftermath of the Khan Sheikhoun attack on the local civilians.
The worldwide gathering comes after Prime Minister Theresa May called for an investigation into a suspected chemical weapons attack in the Syrian civil war.
"People are still very lost", he said.
If the attack involved a nerve gas like sarin, which was used in a 2013 attack in the Syrian capital of Damascus, its victims may not have died quickly.