Bolivia opposed the draft resolution, three other member states, among them China, abstained, while 10 countries voted in favor of it.
Syria’s Permanent Representative to the UN Bashar al-Jaafari said that Syria refuses and condemns in the strongest possible terms the use of chemical weapons or any other weapons of mass destruction as a crime against humanity and unacceptable, immoral and unjustified act under any condition.
Al-Jaafari was speaking during the UN Security Council session in the aftermath of voting on a draft resolution submitted by the US, Britain and France on claims of using chemical weapons in Khan Sheikhoun.
He added that the use of chemical weapons targets the Syrian people who are still the first victims of crimes perpetrated by armed terrorist groups which did not hesitate to use chemical weapons against them, stressing Syria’s determination to know the real criminal responsible for committing the attack.
The Syrian representative noted that the Syrian government, basing on its firm principles, has joined the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Convention and fulfilled its obligations in this regard since it made unprecedented achievement in the OPCW ‘s history and ended the Syrian chemical weapons program in record time, adding that it is verified in the statement of the OPCW-UN Joint Mission on the elimination of Syrian chemical weapons submitted to the UNSC in June 2014.
“Within the framework of its continuous and transparent cooperation with the OPCW, the Syrian state extended an invitation to the Organization’s Director-General to dispatch a professional, honest and impartial technical mission to Khan Sheikhoun and al-Shairat airbase to reveal the reality of what happened,” said al-Jaafari, stressing Syria’s readiness to ensure safe access for the mission to al-Shairat airbase in order to find out whether sarin gas was stored in it or not.
He added that the responsibility of guaranteeing access to Khan Sheikhoun lies on Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organization and other terrorist groups or through the governments of states which support them, topped by France, Britain, the US, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Israeli entity.
Al-Jaafari underlined that Syria is the first party to benefit from unveiling the truth and supports any measure to be taken by this council to reveal the truth, noting that “We oppose draft resolutions which include cunning language that precede the findings of any investigation and direct it in a way that previously accuse the Syrian government just like what the French and British representative have done.
” These three western countries have used to include such languages in previous draft resolutions so that they can be make use of them later on to justify intervention in the affairs of other states and launch military attack on it similar to what happened in Libya and other states,” he said.
“Anyone who thoughtfully reads today’s draft resolution can realize that its real objective is not to reveal the truth but rather to violate Syria’s sovereignty and make use of the resolution’s information, if adopted, to target the Syrian army’s cadres, capabilities and positions via the armed terrorist group which are supported by these three countries,’ al-Jaafari added.
He said that Syria did not use nuclear weapons against Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It did not use chemical and biological weapons against Vietnam. It did not use Uranium against Iraq. It did not try atomic bomb on living Algerian civilians in the Sahara desert.
“During Geneva talk on March 31st, I have informed the UN special envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, about early and documented reports on armed terrorist groups’ possession of toxic chemical materials in Damascus Countryside, Idleb and Hama in order to use them against civilians,” said al-Jaafari adding that “I have also warned him of falsifying facts and fabricating evidence and accusing the Syrian government just like what happened previously. I have told de Mistura about this five days before the incident of Khan Sheikhoun.”
He confirmed that the Syrian government has sent 90 letters to the UNSC on the terrorist organizations, topped by Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS, possession of toxic chemical materials including sarin gas, that have been smuggled from Libya through Turkey to Syria.
Syria’s Representative called upon the UNSC member states to resort to logic and consideration in order to get clear answers to the questions raised after this painful incident and the reactions of the US, France and Britain.
He asked for answers to the questions: Why the videos and photos of Khan Sheikhoun incident have not been released but by organizations that operate in the humanitarian field?, adding that “Here, I am talking about White Helmets group whose members work under the supervision of British intelligence and receive funds from the US and Britain. This is the first question.”
“Secondly, have you read the statement of Swedish Doctors for Human Rights organization which revealed the deception of the so-called “White Helmets”?. Thirdly, Do you know that the British doctor Shajul Islam who was with the armed terrorist groups in Khan Sheikhoun and the main eyewitness in all provocative media campaigns against the Syrian government is of Pakistani origin and has been arrested 13 months ago in Britain on charges related to terrorism, including the abduction of two British journalists in Syria?
Al-Jaafari called upon the member states to read about the mediating role of US Ambassador in Libya in exporting weapons and Sarin gas from Libya to other states which supported terrorists in Syria, especially Turkey in the author Aaron Klein’ book entitled “The Real Benghazi Story. What the White House and Hillary Don’t Want You to Know”.
He also invited them to read a scientific report by Professor Tudor from Massachusetts Institute of Technology evaluating the White House’s allegations on what happened in Khan Sheikhoun where the American Professor says that the US officials relied on a hole in the road north to Khan Sheikhoun to point fingers of accusation to the Syrian state.
Al-Jaafari wondered what would the French representative say about the French war planes which killed 200 civilians in Toukhan al-Kubra village in the countryside of Aleppo on July 19th, 2016 and what would the US representative say about the US planes killing 237 civilians in al-Mansoura town who fled away from ISIS in al-Raqqa city?
He stressed Syria’s commitment to carry out its obligations after joining the OPCW convention and to continue its war on terrorism, extending, on behalf of the Syrian government, appreciation and gratitude to the friendly states of Russia and Bolivia which voted against the draft law as well as other delegation which abstained from voting.
Earlier, al-Jaafari said that the US administration is pushing the terrorist war on Syria towards dangerous levels through moving from a stage of proxy aggression into that on its own behalf through direct military action.
Al-Jaafari made his remarks during a UN Security Council session held today to discuss the draft resolution submitted by the US, Britain and France on the use of Chemical weapons in Khan Sheikhoun in Idleb province.
He said that the US administration has felt that the terrorist groups had begun to retreat, so it committed its aggression on al-Shairat air base.
Al-Jaafari said it seems that Britain’s decision to leave the EU pushes it to seek to a new role through an extremist discourse which reminds us of the criminal role of former British prime minister Tony Blair who led Britain into the invasion and occupation of Iraq 14 years ago after fabricating the lie about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, a war to which the Iraqi people continue to pay the cost till this day.
“About a week ago, we thought that we are going to attend this session and share with you the outcomes of what has been achieved in the recent meetings in Astana and Geneva and confirm our support to the efforts exerted by the UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura and those who are serious about reaching a political settlement to the crisis in Syria and coordinating counterterrorism efforts,” the Syrian diplomat added.
He noted that the US has never refrained from providing all kinds of support to the terrorist groups in order to perpetrate the most heinous crimes against civilians and the infrastructure in Syria and this includes the practices of the so-called international coalition to fight the ISIS which provided an aerial cover to the ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra and other terrorist groups, not to mention its bombardment of infrastructure and civilians, adding that the best example for that is targeting a Syrian military site in al-Tharda Mountain in Deir Ezzor on September 17th, 2016.
Al-Jaafari stated that providing military support to terrorist groups was not limited to the US-led coalition countries but Israel was in the lead of offering this support such as treating injured terrorists and providing medical care to them and launching airstrikes against Syrian army positions.
“The direct Israeli support to ISIS through attacking Syrian army sites in Palmyra city on March 17th, 2017 added fuel to the fire and made things worse. The same scene on April 7th, 2017 when the US administration and its allies felt that the terrorist groups began to retreat, so they committed their flagrant aggression against al-Shairat airbase under pretexts of using chemical weapons in the terrorist-held town of Khan Sheikhoun,” he added.
The US administration preceded its aggression with exploiting the UNSC international legitimacy mechanisms and submitted provocative draft resolutions which blame the Syrian government for using chemical weapons.
This serious aggression had been plotted long in advance inside the secret rooms of intelligence agencies of Tel Aviv, Riyadh, Doha, Ankara, Amman, Washington, London and Paris. These are the same capitals which supplied their terrorist tools, on the top of which is Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organization, in Syria with toxic chemical materials to use them and accuse the Syrian government of using them, recalling what happened in Khan al-Asal on March 19th, 2013, in the Eastern Ghouta on August 21th, 2013, in Tal Mins on April 21st, 2014, in Sermin on March 16th,2015 and in Qnaynas on March 16th, 2016.
Al-Jaafari affirmed that Damascus sent 90 letters to the UNSC on the possess of chemical weapons by terrorist groups with the aim of using them against civilians and accusing the Syrian government of committing these crimes, adding that some of those letters included the smuggling of sarin gas from Libya through Turkey to Syria on the board of an aircraft via a Syrian criminal, named Haitham al-Qassar.
He indicated to statements made by former French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas who was on a visit to London on June 2013 during which he was told about a conspiracy against Syria which aims at destroying the country and isolating its government due to its anti-Israel stances.
He also referred to a report published on the British Daily Mail newspaper in January 2013 which contained emails between senior officials in British Britam Defense Company about a scheme approved by Washington that Qatar, in cooperation with Turkey, will fund terrorist groups in Syria to use chemical weapons, adding that documents released by WikiLeaks website proved that the White House has given green light to launch chemical attack in Eastern Ghouta in Damascus in order to blame the Syrian government and provoke taking an international military action against the country.
Today, the new US administration, which claimed to give priority to counterterrorism and we have felt optimistic about, has found no way but to resort to the trick of red line and fabricate the incident of toxic chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun to commit its aggression against Syria, abort Astana and Geneva talks, rescue armed terrorist groups and help opposition groups withdraw from political settlement and counterterrorism obligations because we succeeded to add the basket of counterterrorism to the agenda of Geneva talks.
“The enemies of the political track were not satisfied when we added the basket of combating terrorism to Geneva talks and the US new administration, along with its allies, did not find a pretext except the chemical weapons. In paradox, those who destroyed Syrian chemical weapons were the US ships in the Mediterranean,” he said.
This has taken place as the Syrian army and its allies gain victory over terrorism and local reconciliations are being achieved across the Syrian areas, not to mention the important steps that have been made in Astana meetings where de Mistura laid stress on Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity which means controlling borders with neighboring countries, particularly Turkey and Jordan, preventing the flow of terrorists, halting hostilities, separating armed groups from Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS terrorist organizations and unifying efforts in the war on terrorism. There are the outcomes of Astana talks.. if they were implemented, the crisis in Syria would have ended within 24 hours.
It has occurred in a time when serious efforts have been exerted in Geneva talks to crystallize a political vision and draw a road map to settle the crisis in Syria, a time during which Syria is witnessing a diplomatic openness and visits of parliamentary delegations, including western delegations, which start to show the public opinion what is really taking place in Syria and call for providing support to the Syrian government in its war against terrorism.
“I would like to leave this question to those who still resort to the logic and law in this Council in order to explain this blind madness and savage appetite to set Syria and the region on fire and lead international law into new phase of wars and conflicts in which only terrorism, extremism, hatred, military force and the law of jungle will gain victory,” al-Jaafari said.
Al-Jaafari said that in the face of this deception, the Syrian government sent a letter indicating an invitation to the Director General of the Organization of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in the Hague to dispatch a mission to Khan Sheikhoun and al-Shairat airbase to find out the reality which means that we, the Syrian government, want to know who used the chemical gas in Syria.
He pointed out that the Syrian government, in the last round of talks in Geneva, has submitted several papers to de Mistura, the most important of which entitled “Essential Principles of a Political Solution in Syria” which calls for finding a logical and natural ground to start discussing all issues, in addition to another paper on combating terrorism.
Al-Jaafari said that all topics enlisted on the agenda have been discussed during the nine days of talks in Geneva, indicating to the absence of serious partner who seeks to fight terrorism and reach a political solution.
He stressed Syria’s denunciation of the US, France and Britain’s endeavors to abort the Special Envoy’s effort and hinder the Geneva and Astana talks in which the Syrian government has taken part as to shoulder its responsibility towards its people in defending the country and stopping blood-shedding.
The diplomat noted that the US aggression will not deter the Syrian government and its allies from continuing its war on terrorism, actively participating in next rounds of Astana and Geneva talks or discussing issues related to governance, constitution, elections and counterterrorism, adding that the Syrian government will spare no effort to reach a political solution with the Syrians themselves are to determine their future and choice in a way that guarantees Syria’s sovereignty, independence, safety and territorial integrity.
“I am surprised by the statements made by the representatives of France, Britain and the United States about their intention to submit a draft resolution for vote before conducting an honest international investigation on the chemical attack, which is considered as a provocative step and a misuse of the Security Council mechanisms,” he said.
For his part, Russian Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Vladimir Safronkov said that his country will not allow any destructive geopolitical projects to pass through the UN Security Council.
He called for conducting a comprehensive investigation on Khan Sheikhoun incident, expressing astonishment at French experts who have not inspected the site of the alleged chemical attack and found that Damascus is behind the attack, wondering how do they know that?
Safronkov said that such provocative acts like what has happened in Khan Sheikhoun enhance the positions of parties who seek a military solution to the crisis in Syria.
He noted that Russia has effectively participated in the round of Syrian talks held in Geneva in March and encouraged all parties to look for solutions that are acceptable to all of them and reach settlements, expressing support to de Mistura and hoping that he would further intense these efforts.
The diplomat said that the UK statement aimed to complicate de Mistura’s efforts and prevent the political process from moving forward.
Addressing the Britain’s representative to the UN, Safronkov said “What have you done to enhance the ceasefire agreement? You have welcomed the opposition groups in Paris and London. They are armed and illegal groups.”
The Russian diplomat said that we should cooperate with all Syrian national parties in the talks and exert more efforts to ensure a comprehensive process and guarantee that Syria will remain a united secular state in which all spectrums of society can co-exist and contribute to the rebuilding of their country.
The Russian diplomat called for forming an international alliance to dismantle mines in Syria.
He said that many are thinking about the future of Syria after the crisis, the return of refugees and displaced people is the response to all terrorist practices rather than excluding Damascus and representatives of the Syrian Arab Republic from the whole process which is unprofessional, unacceptable and immoral.
Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations, Liu Jieyi said that China will continue work with the international community and play a constructive and positive role to push forward the process to reach a comprehensive and fair political solution to the crisis in Syria.
For his part, Bolivia’s Representative to the UN said that any unilateral procedure will undermine the talks and hinder achieving peace in Syria, urging the need to unify efforts against terrorism.
He added that the terrorists are the first beneficiary of the UN Security Council’s inability to end this war, expressing condemnation of any terrorist act and calling for combating terrorism according to the UN Charter and all relevant UNSC resolutions.
The diplomat highlighted his country’s support to Astana and Geneva talks, reaffirming that the only way to get out of the crisis in Syria is through political solution and holding serious, constructive and honest talks.
He called for acting in line with the UN Charter and conducting a comprehensive impartial independent investigation on the chemical attack.
Kazakhstan’s representative stressed that Geneva talks are the only means to reach a peaceful solution and put an end to the crisis in Syria, calling upon all parties to achieve settlement and go ahead with the political process.
He added that the crisis in Syria affects the whole region, stressing the need that all parties in the region should work together to prevent any deterioration in the situation and guarantee respecting the cessation of hostilities agreement.