The Foreign Ministry of Russia is urging Syria to allow U.N. investigators already in the Middle East country to investigate Syria’s suspected chemical weapons attack. The usually unvoiced Russia, arguably Syria’s chief ally, joined the international community and the U.S. in calls for transparency, reports Fox News on Aug. 23.
It’s alleged that Syria carried out a widespread chemical attack on its people near the city Damascus. Unconfirmed reports say hundreds, possibly thousands were killed, including women and children.
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon dispatched officials to secure “without delay” the Syrian government’s permission for international weapons investigators already in the country to examine the alleged site and interview witnesses, reports the Washington Post.
“I can think of no good reason why any party, either government or opposition forces, would decline this opportunity to get to the truth of the matter,” Ban told a diplomatic forum in Korea on Friday.
U.S. allies and member nations of the U.N. have voiced their public support for an open investigation.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius called for an actionable response “with force” if the allegations hold true.
“There would have to be reaction with force in Syria from the international community,” Fabius said in a television interview.
Britain’s Foreign Office weighed in with a less strong rebuke. A Foreign Office spokesperson from London said, “Our immediate priority is to verify the facts and ensure the United Nation team is granted access to investigate these latest reports.”
Widely circulated videos and pictures show bodies being tagged, bagged and lined up awaiting burial.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has strenuously denied launching the attack, one that President Obama said could threaten the “core national interests” of the America. Activists inside Syria, the Syrian Opposition Coalition, said the attack was carried out by the government in response to the coalitions’ activities.