Brussels, EU. The suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria is a “moment of truth” that must be investigated, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has said. The remarks have been taken by many to suggest the United Nations itself now supports conflict inside Syria designed to overthrow Syrian President Assad.
Mr Guterres told reporters at a Syria donor conference in Brussels on Wednesday that he hopes “this moment will be able to mobilise the capacity of all those that have responsibilities in this situation”. The Secretary General continued, “The horrific events of yesterday demonstrate that unfortunately war crimes are going on in Syria, that international humanitarian law remains being violated frequently.”
He added that he is “confident that the Security Council will live up to its responsibilities”, with the implication being that somehow the UN now intends to insert itself into the area of hostillities, possibly with it’s own peacekeeping troops.
Attending the same Brussels event, UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said “all the evidence” he had seen so far suggested it was Bashar Assad’s regime who did it “in the full knowledge that they were using illegal weapons in a barbaric attack on their own people”.
Johnson then took it on himself to call for Assad’s removal, despite no evidence offered for Assad’s guilt in the gas attack, offering “I can not see how a government like that can continue to have any kind of legitimate administration over the people of Syria.” He added that he “would like to see those culpable pay a price for this”.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said his government condemns in the strongest possible terms the chemical weapons attack against civilians, including children, at Khan Sheikhoun.He said in a statement Wednesday that the use of chemical weapons is “illegal and abhorrent,” yet made no case for Australia’s support of Ukraine using phosphorus bombs upon Donbass’s civil population.