BRUSSELS, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- The European Union (EU) on Tuesday welcomed the UN report confirming a chemical attack happened in Syria, saying it would "help identify the perpetrators."
"With this report we now have reliable evidence confirming that a large-scale chemical attack was perpetrated on that day with the use of sarin gas," said EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.
"The report also corroborates that surface-to-surface rockets containing the nerve agent sarin were used in four areas of Damascus" on Aug. 21, she said.
"These are indications that will help identify the perpetrators," said Ashton.
Ten days earlier in Vilnius, Ashton told reporters that information from several sources confirmed the Syrian regime was responsible for the attack "as is the only one that possesses chemical weapons agents and the means of the delivery in this efficient quantity."
Ashton insisted the EU stood united in condemning in the strongest terms the "horrific attack which constitutes a violation of international law, a war crime, and a crime against humanity." "There can be no impunity and perpetrators of the attacks must be held accountable," she said.
She called on the UN Security Council to assume its responsibilities in agreeing swiftly on an effective resolution that will authorize the process for ensuring the swift and secure destruction of Syria's chemical weapons.
On Monday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon briefed the Security Council in a closed-door meeting about the report from a fact-finding group looking into the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria. The report confirmed that chemical weapons were used in Ghouta, Syria, without assigning blame.
TOKYO, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- Japan on Tuesday condemned the use of chemical weapons in Syria after a UN report confirmed that sarin gas has been used in an attack in August near the Syrian capital Damascus.
Japan's Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida told a press conference here that Tokyo strongly condemns the use of chemical weapon in the Mideast country, saying it will closely watch developments at the United Nations and responses by the Syrian government on the U. S.-Russian agreement on Syria's chemical weapons. Full story
UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- Russia on Monday criticized some Western countries for jumping to conclusions in favor of the Syrian opposition, saying all facts and questions " need to be addressed seriously and professionally."
Vitaly Churkin, Russia's UN ambassador, made the remarks while speaking to reporters after the release of a UN report that confirmed the use of chemical weapons in Syria on Aug. 21. Britain, France and the United States claimed Monday that the latest UN findings supported their previous judgment that the Syrian government had used the chemical weapons in the conflict. Full story
UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- Chemical weapons were used at Ghouta, Syria, on Aug. 21 "on a relatively large scale resulting in numerous casualties, particularly among civilians and including many children," a UN report said Monday.
In a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon accompanying the report, Ake Sellstrom, the head of the mission that was responsible for investigating the alleged use of chemical weapons in the suburbs of Damascus, the Syrian capital, said there was evidence rockets and the nerve gas sarin were employed. Full story
UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- The highly anticipated UN report confirming the use of chemical weapons in Syria on Aug. 21 killing hundreds of people is only five pages long but has unleashed uncountable words of argument.
The report itself was never intended to point fingers, only to determine if chemical weapons were used. Now the debate is in high pitch, with each side citing aspects of the report that buttresses their argument. The divide is classically East-West. Full story