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Syria’s UN envoy says US-led coalition protects terrorists

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Syrian Ambassador to the UN Bashar al-Ja'afari speaks during a UN Security Council meeting on the situation in Syria on April 12, 2017 at the UN headquarters in New York. (Photo by AFP)

Syria's Ambassador to the UN Bashar al-Ja'afari says the US-led coalition purportedly fighting the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group is targeting Syrian infrastructure and protecting terrorist groups.

His remarks came during a UN Security Council meeting on the situation in Syria on Wednesday.

The UNSC is scheduled to vote later on Wednesday on a resolution drafted by Britain, France and the United States that urges the Damascus government to cooperate with an investigation into an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria. Russia is expected to veto the resolution.

The new motion is the revised version of last week’s three separate draft texts proposed by London, Paris and Washington that condemned the purported gas attack on the town of Khan Shaykhun in Syria’s Idlib province on April 4 and demanded a full investigation into it.

Ja'afari has stressed that the Damascus government does not have any chemical weapons.

He said the recent chemical assault aimed to sabotage progress made in the intra-Syrian negotiations organized by Iran, Russia, and Turkey in the Kazakh capital city of Astana earlier this year that sought to bring an end to foreign-sponsored militancy that has been gripping Syria since 2011.

The Syrian envoy said Syria invites the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to conduct an investigation into Idlib chemical assault, adding that his country wants to find perpetrators of the attack.

Ja'afari said the West and some regional countries provide the terrorists fighting in Syria with chemical weapons.

He added that his country has time and again informed the UN about terrorists possessing chemical weapons.

The Syrian envoy also said that weapons of mass destruction were used as a pretext to invade Iraq.

A general view of the UN Security Council meeting on the situation in Syria on April 12, 2017 at the UN headquarters in New York. (Photo by AFP)

US strikes escalated violence: UN

At the UNSC meeting, UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura denounced the alleged chemical attack in Idlib.

He said violence and fighting have escalated since the US launched a missile attack on a Syrian airbase in Homs province following the chemical attack.

US warships deployed to the eastern Mediterranean launched a barrage of 59 Tomahawk missiles against Shayrat Airfield, southeast of the western Syrian city of Homs, on April 7. Washington, without providing any evidence, claimed the attack came in response to the alleged chemical attack by the Syrian government in Khan Shaykhun.

The UN envoy said there can be no military solution to Syria's crisis, stressing the significance of a political solution.

Russia's Deputy UN Ambassador Vladimir Safronkov echoed de Mistura’s remarks, saying political resolution was the only way to bring peace to Syria and the region.

Russia expects peace talks to continue

The Russian envoy also expected that Geneva peace talks will continue more actively. The fifth round of the peace talks was held in March under the UN auspices.

He also said Moscow insists that the Syria talks must be held without preconditions, noting that there is no room for terrorists in the negotiations.

Russian Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vladimir Safronkov attends a UN Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East on April 12, 2017 at UN headquarters in New York. (Photo by AFP)

Safronkov also slammed Britain for supporting the interests of armed terrorist groups in the Middle East. The Russian official urged the UK not to interfere with UN peace efforts in Syria.

The Russian envoy also urged more investigations into the alleged chemical attack.

Western countries rushed to blame the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for the Khan Shaykhun incident without providing any evidence to support their accusations.

Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said Damascus did not and would not use chemical arms, even against terror outfits. He said the Syrian military had carried out an airstrike on a depot where terrorists stored chemical weapons.

Iran and Russia have called for an impartial investigation into the chemical incident.

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