UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- The conflict ravaging Syria is not a civil war but "a war against terror," the country's deputy prime minister said Monday, calling on the international community to act to cut off some countries' support for terrorists.
"There is no civil war in Syria, but it is a war against terror that recognizes no values, nor justice, nor equality, and disregards any rights or laws," said Walid Al-Moualem, who is also minister of foreign affairs and expatriates, in his speech at the high-level debate of the UN General Assembly.
Al-Qaida and its offshoots, such as Jabhat A1-Nusrah, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant and the Brigade of Islam, are fighting in Syria, he said, adding that many countries did not want to recognize that fact, despite the scenes of murder, manslaughter and "eating human hearts" that were shown on TV screens.
"Confronting this terror in my country requires the international community to act in accordance with relevant resolutions on counter-terrorism," Al-Moualem said, in particular "to take necessary and prompt measures to compel those well-known countries that finance, arm, train and provide a safe haven and passage for terrorists coming from different countries of the world."
As for the use chemical weapons in Syria, which UN inspectors have confirmed, he said that it was Syria that first requested an investigation into the use of the poisonous gas months ago.
"We are the ones who were targeted by poisonous gases in Khan A1-Assal, near Aleppo," he said. "We have asked for an Investigation Mission, and demanded inclusion in its mandate the ability to determine who used chemical weapons."
A fact-finding UN group has confirmed the Aug. 21 use of chemical weapons out the Syrian capital of Damascus, but without laying blame at any party. The UN Security Council on Friday night adopted a resolution to rid Syria of chemical weapons.
Al-Moualem assured the General Assembly of his country's full commitment to its obligations as a state party to the Convention for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, as its membership becomes effective in mid-October.
At the same time, Al-Moualem called on the international community to shoulder its responsibility for establishing a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, stressing that it was "unachievable without the accession of Israel."
"Syria stresses that establishing a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the region is unachievable without the accession of Israel, the only nuclear power in the region, to all treaties banning such weapons, and putting its nuclear facilities under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency," he said.
Reaffirming Damascus' desire for a political solution to the Syria crisis, Al-Moualem called for the convening of a Geneva peace conference without preconditions, so that Syrians alone could determine the future governance of the country.
"Syria has repeatedly announced that she embraces a political solution to its crisis. It is now for those who claim support for a political solution in Syria to stop all hostile practices and policies against Syria, and to head to Geneva without preconditions," he said.