May Demands Probe into Assad 'Chemical Atrocity' Gavin Cordon, Andrew Woodcock and Sam Lister Newsdesk@walesonline.Co.UK 'War Crime' after Dozens Die in Syria Chemical Weapons Attack

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), April 5, 2017 | Go to article overview

May Demands Probe into Assad 'Chemical Atrocity' Gavin Cordon, Andrew Woodcock and Sam Lister Newsdesk@walesonline.Co.UK 'War Crime' after Dozens Die in Syria Chemical Weapons Attack


Byline: Gavin Cordon;Andrew Woodcock ; Sam Lister

THERESA May has called for an investigation into a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria as she condemned the atrocity which has claimed the lives of dozens of people.

The Prime Minister called on Russia to ensure Bashar Assad's regime is brought to an end.

Opposition activists claim that dozens of people died in the attack in a town in the northern province of Idlib, with the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights putting the death toll at 58, including 11 children.

Mrs May said: "I'm appalled by the reports that there's been a chemical weapons attack on a town south of Idlib allegedly by the Syrian regime.

"We condemn the use of chemical weapons in all circumstances.

"If proven, this will be further evidence of the barbarism of the Syrian regime, and the UK has led international efforts to call to account the Syrian regime and Daesh for the use of chemical weapons and I would urge the Organisation for the turn to page 4 from page 1 Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to investigate this incident as soon as possible.

"I'm very clear that there can be no future for Assad in a stable Syria which is representative of all the Syrian people and I call on all the third parties involved to ensure that we have a transition away from Assad.

"We cannot allow this suffering to continue."

Earlier, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson denounced the attack as a "war crime" and called for those responsible to be brought to justice.

It would be "unbelievable" to think that president Bashar Assad could play a role in the post-war government of the country if his regime is found to be to blame, Mr Johnson said.

It was the third claim of a chemical attack in just over a week in Syria. There was no immediate comment from the government in Damascus on the alleged incident, which comes a day before a conference on the future of Syria co-hosted by Britain in Brussels.

Speaking in London, Mr Johnson - who will represent the UK at today's summit - said: "If this were proved to have been committed by the Assad regime, it would be another reason to think they are an absolutely heinous outfit. …

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