The Vanishing Red Line In Syria

One year after President Barack Obama declared there was a “red line” that must not be crossed by Syria, the rogue regime allegedly crossed it by using chemical weapons against civilians.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed “shock” after opposition forces claimed Syrian government  allegedly used chemical weapons in Syria’s Damascus suburbs.

Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson said the UN needed “to investigate this as soon as possible; no matter what the conclusions, this represents a serious escalation with grave humanitarian and human consequences.”

The need for investigation was echoed by White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, who issued a statement declaring the US “strongly condemns any and all use of chemical weapons.  Those responsible for the use of chemical weapons must be held accountable.” He said the US issued a formal request to the UN on Wednesday to “urgently investigate this new allegation.”

The Security Council did not explicitly demand a U.N. investigation, although it said “clarity” was needed and welcomed U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon’s calls for a prompt investigation by the U.N. inspection team in Syria, led by Ake Sellstrom.

Reuters reports that a draft statement was rejected by China and Russia and the final statement was watered down. China and Russia have repeatedly held the Security Council back, namely on demands that Syrian President Bashir al-Assad step down from power.

Global Response
France issued a warning that if the use of chemical weapons is proven than force will be warranted, while China called for an “objective” investigation of the allegations.

“There would have to be reaction with force in Syria from the international community, but there is no question of sending troops on the ground,” Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on French television network BFM.

Turkey’s Foreign Minister was less diplomatic saying that it was “clear” that Syria used chemical weapons

“Use of chemical weapons in Syria is evident from the footage coming from there. We have called for an immediate investigation by the U.N. teams,” Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in a television interview.

 

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