BEIRUT (AP) — The United Nations says it isn’t in a position to independently verify reports of a chemical attack in Syria’s rebel-held Idlib province but Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is “deeply disturbed” at the incident.
U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the U.N. chief extends “his heartfelt condolences to victims of the incident and their families.” He pointed to the OPCW, the international chemical weapons watchdog, which announced that it has started gathering information to determine if chemical weapons were used.
Dujarric said Gutteres recalled the U.N. Security Council determination that the use of chemical weapons threatens international peace and security, and if confirmed “constitutes a serious violation of international law.”
Russia and China vetoed a Western-backed resolution on Feb. 28 aimed at holding the Syrian government accountable for three previous attacks involving chlorine gas.
The council scheduled an emergency meeting on the attack Wednesday morning.
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