NATO backs Syria strikes, UN appeals for restraint

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Brussels, April 14 (IANS) The NATO Secretary General on Saturday backed the joint strikes by the US, the UK, and France targeting the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons capabilities.

Jens Stoltenberg said that the strikes would reduce Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime ability to further attack the local population with chemical weapons, Efe news reported.

“NATO has consistently condemned Syria’s continued use of chemical weapons as a clear breach of international norms and agreements,” Stoltenberg said in a statement.

“The use of chemical weapons is unacceptable, and those responsible must be held accountable,” he added.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has urged the members of the organisation to show moderation in the prevailing “dangerous” climate and to respect international law.

Guterres’ remarks came during a Security Council meeting on Friday, shortly before the strikes were launched in response to the alleged use of chemical weapons in the Syrian town of Douma on April 7.

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“I urge all member states to act responsibly in these dangerous circumstances,” Guterres said.

The Council has met four times this week to assess the Syrian situation but the sessions have ended without any agreements being reached.

The debates have exposed the deep divisions between the US and Russia on the conflict, which led Guterres to say that “the Cold War is back – with a vengeance”.

–IANS

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