United Nations boss urges restraint after strikes on Syria

He strongly backed the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons' fact-finding mission to investigate last weekend's suspected poison gas attack in the Damascus suburb of Douma, saying the first OPCW team is already in Syria and "a second is expected today or tomorrow".

"Such an action also added new and complicated factors to finding a solution to the situation in Syria", she said.

"I have also been closely following developments in the Security Council and regret that the Council has so far been unable to reach an agreement on this issue", Guterres said in a statement.

Echoing the U.S. stance, France said Assad's government had reached a "point of no return" with repeated use of chemical weapons.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday called for restraint and for countries to avoid any acts that could escalate the situation in Syria after the United States, France and Britain carried out air strikes.

The US, UK and France launched a coordinated air campaign of strikes on Saturday morning, targeting a research centre, two chemical weapons facilities and an Assad regime command centre in response to the use of chemical weapons in rebel-held Douma, a week previously.

But France's United Nations ambassador Francois Delattre told the council that in choosing once again to use banned chemical weapons against civilians, Assad's regime had "reached a point of no-return". He called the attacks an outrageous violation of global law and a groundless attack on a sovereign government.


Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia accused the West of "hooliganism" and demanded that it "immediately end its actions against Syria and refrain from them in the future".

Tension between Russian Federation and the West came amid signs the parallel conflict between Israel and Iran's forces and proxies in Syria is also on the point of escalation.

But the growing fears of escalation appear to have given Western leaders food for thought.

On the same day, the United States, the UK and France delivered a massive missile strike against Syria.

Russia, which has stonewalled diplomatic efforts at the UN Security Council, has vehemently denied a chemical attack took place.

A French frigate, British Royal Navy submarines and the USS Donald Cook, an American destroyer equipped with Tomahawk land attack missiles, have all moved into range of Syria's coast.

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