UK says it thinks Syria's Assad was behind chemical attack
LONDON (Reuters) - Britain said on Friday it believed forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad were responsible for a chemical weapons attack in the rebel-held suburbs of Damascus, saying it thought the Syrian government had "something to hide".
"I know that some people in the world would like to say that this is some kind of conspiracy brought about by the opposition in Syria," said British Foreign Secretary William Hague. "I think the chances of that are vanishingly small and so we do believe that this is a chemical attack by the Assad regime."
Stepping up calls for U.N. inspectors to be allowed access to the site of the reported attack, Hague said Britain would go back to the U.N. Security Council to seek a stronger mandate if inspectors were not granted access "within some days".
"Security council members expressed their support for the U.N. team to go there. They haven't yet been able to and already it seems the Assad regime has something to hide - why else have they not allowed the U.N. team to go there?
"The only possible explanation of what we've been able to see is a chemical attack ... there is no other plausible explanation for casualties so intense in such a small area on this scale."
The reported attack was "not something that a humane and civilised world" could ignore, he added, saying he planned to speak to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov later on Friday.
(Reporting by Andrew Osborn and William James; Editing by Belinda Goldsmith)
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this
DAVOS, Switzerland - Central banks have done their best to rescue the world economy by printing money and politicians must now act fast to enact structural reforms and pro-investment policies to boost growth, central bankers said on Saturday.
Trending On Reuters
The government made a push on Wednesday to bolster its strained finances, offering to sell a stake in miner Coal India and more mobile phone airwaves as it aimed to deliver on a promise to trim its fiscal deficit. Full Article
From Oscars to Sundance, Sharma and Revolori discuss India's 'Umrika' Full Article