News

Syria asks the United Nations to stop U.S. strike

Syria asks the United Nations to stop U.S. strike

A Free Syrian Army fighter runs for cover during clashes with forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar Al-Assad beside the Canadian Hospital in Aleppo, August 31, 2013. Photo: Reuters/Molhem Barakat

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syria has asked the United Nations to prevent “any aggression” against Syria following a call over the weekend by President Barack Obama for punitive strikes against the Syrian military for last month’s chemical weapons attack.

Washington says more than 1,400 people, many of them children, were killed in the world’s worst use of chemical arms since Iraq’s Saddam Hussein gassed thousands of Kurds in 1988.

U.S. military action will be put to a vote in Congress, which ends its summer recess on September 9, giving President Bashar al-Assad time to prepare the ground for any assault and try to rally international support against the use of force.

In a letter to U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon and President of the Security Council Maria Cristina Perceval, Syrian U.N. envoy Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari called on “the U.N. Secretary General to shoulder his responsibilities for preventing any aggression on Syria and pushing forward reaching a political solution to the crisis in Syria”, state news agency SANA said on Monday.

He called on the Security Council to “maintain its role as a safety valve to prevent the absurd use of force out of the frame of international legitimacy”.

Ja’afari said the United States should “play its role, as a peace sponsor and as a partner to Russia in the preparation for the international conference on Syria and not as a state that uses force against whoever opposes its policies”.

Syria denies using chemical weapons and accuses rebel groups, who have been fighting for more than two years to topple Assad, of using the banned weapons. At least 100,000 people have been killed in the conflict, which started in March 2011 with protests against four decades of Assad family rule.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday that tests showed sarin nerve gas was fired on rebel-held areas on August 21.

Ja’afari said Kerry had “adopted old stories fabricated by terrorists” based on fake photos from the Internet.

Recent Headlines

in Black Friday, National

PHOTOS: Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

AP353037153391_2

The 88th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade stepped off in NYC, officially ushering in the holiday season.

in National

Thanksgiving grease cooks up plumbing disasters

turkey

Thanksgiving is a royal pain in the U.S. drain.

in National

Ebola survivors thankful for ‘second chance’

ebola

Six of the nine Ebola patients treated in the U.S. met for the first time.

in National

Thanksgiving travel at a 7-year high

gas

More than 46 million Americans are expected to travel over the holiday weekend.

in Black Friday, National

History of the holiday: Thanksgiving

14-overlay1

Thanksgiving celebrations date back to the first European settlements in America, but it wasn't until the 1860s that it was declared a national holiday.