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UN chief warns of full-blown military escalation in Syria

IANS  |  United Nations 

UN Antonio has warned of the danger of a full-blown military escalation in

"Increasing tensions and the inability to reach a compromise in the establishment of an accountability mechanism (for use in Syria) threaten to lead to a full-blown military escalation," told the on Friday, reported.

"In my contacts with you -- especially with the permanent members of the -- I have been reiterating my deep concerns about the risks of the current impasse and stressed the need to avoid the situation spiralling out of control. This is exactly the risk we face today -- that things spiral out of control," said the UN

"It is our common duty to stop it."

"In Syria, we see confrontations and proxy wars involving several national armies, a number of armed opposition groups, many national and international militia, foreign fighters from everywhere in the world, and various terrorist organisations," he told the Security Council, which was convening at the request of

"From the beginning, we have witnessed systematic violations of international humanitarian law, international human rights law, and international law tout court -- in utter disregard of the letter and spirit of the Charter."

For eight years, the people of have lived through a litany of horrors: atrocity crimes, sieges, starvation, indiscriminate attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure, the use of chemical weapons, forced displacement, sexual violence, torture, detention and enforced disappearances, he said.

He noted that resolution 2401 that demands a cease-fire across to allow humanitarian aid into the country.

The continued reports of use in Syria are outrageous, he said. He deplored the fact that the Security Council could not reach agreement on a dedicated mechanism for attributing accountability in this regard.

"I reiterate my strong condemnation of the use of by any party to the conflict and under any circumstances. Their use is abhorrent and a clear violation of international law."

The seriousness of the recent allegations of a in Douma, Syria, requires a thorough investigation using impartial, independent and professional expertise, he said.

reaffirmed his full support for the (OPCW) and its in undertaking the required investigation into these allegations.

The OPCW mission should be granted full access, without any restrictions or impediments to perform its activities, he said.

The first team of the OPCW is already in Syria. A second is expected to arrive on Friday or Saturday.

Guterres urged the Security Council, which failed to adopt a resolution on Tuesday on a new investigative mechanism for chemical weapons use in Syria, not to give up on its efforts to agree upon a "dedicated, impartial, objective and independent mechanism" for attributing responsibility.

He stressed that there is no military solution to the Syrian conflict. "The solution must be political through the intra-Syrian talks."



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First Published: Sat, April 14 2018. 02:54 IST