UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has warned that the “impasse” in the Security Council on Syria could cause the situation to spiral out of control amid threats of a US military strike against the Arab country.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the UN chief expressed regret that the Security Council’s veto-holding powers have “been unable to reach agreement” on the Syria issue.
“Today, I called the Ambassadors of the five Permanent Members of the Security Council to reiterate my deep concern about the risks of the current impasse and stressed the need to avoid the situation spiraling out of control,” Guterres said.
The UN chief also underlined the need for concerted efforts to end the suffering of the Syrian people.
“Let us not forget that, ultimately, our efforts must be about ending the terrible suffering of the Syrian people,” he said.
His remarks came a day after the Security Council failed to pass a resolution to launch a probe into the recent alleged chemical attack in Syria’s militant-held Douma, Eastern Ghouta.
A war of words has erupted between Washington and Moscow over the issue, with US President Donald Trump and his allies in the West threatening to take military action against Syria.
A Syrian Foreign Ministry official says the US is making up false pretexts to attack Syria.
Trump posted a fiery tweet earlier on Wednesday, in which he warned Russia — one of Syria’s key supporters in the war against foreign-backed militancy — that it should get prepared to “shoot down” missiles that the US military would soon rain down over Syrian targets.
In response to Trump’s tweet, the Kremlin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said later in the day that Moscow would steer clear from “Twitter-diplomacy” and rather engage in “serious approaches.”
Syria has firmly denied any links to the attack, which reportedly killed at least 60 people and wounded more than 1,000 others. Russia says the number of casualties is not true.
Moscow and Damascus have called on the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to investigate the attack and find the real perpetrators.
The US has so far failed to offer any evidence to support its claims against Syria.