United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday called for restraint and for countries to avoid any acts that could escalate the situation in Syria after the United States, France and Britain carried out strikes.
Guterres delayed a planned trip to Saudi Arabia to deal with the aftermath of the military action. “I urge all member states to show restraint in these dangerous circumstances and to avoid any acts that could escalate the situation and worsen the suffering of the Syrian people,” Guterres said in a statement.
The military operation was ordered in retaliation for what the West says was repeated use of chemical weapons by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces against civilians.
“Any use of chemical weapons is abhorrent. The suffering it causes is horrendous,” Guterres said. The UN chief said it was important to act in line with the UN charter and international law.
He urged the UN Security Council to agree on establishing an inquiry that would identify the perpetrators of chemical attacks.
Russia this week vetoed a US proposal to set up such a panel following an alleged chemical weapons attack on the rebel-held town of Douma that killed more than 40 people, according to medics and rescuers.
Attack will not affect army ‘in any way’
The Western attack on Syria on Saturday will not have any impact on the Syrian army’s resolve to press the fight against militants and restore control of the entire country, the Syrian foreign ministry said.
“The barbaric aggression ... will not affect in any way the determination and insistence of the Syrian people and their heroic armed forces,” state news agency SANA cited an official source in the ministry as saying.
“This aggression will only lead to inflaming tensions in the world,” and threatens international security, it added.