Events of 12 April 2018: A round up

According to the Daily Telegraph, British Prime Minister Theresa May ordered the deployment of submarines neat to the Syrian coastline. According to The Times, the British air base at Akrotiri in Cyprus is ready to launch an attack.

• UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, has telephoned the representatives of the Big Five – the 5 Permanent Members of the UN Security Council so as to encourage them to “avoid a situation spinning out of control” and to remind them that “at the end of the day, our efforts strive at putting an end to the terrible suffering of the Syrian people”.

• The Syrian Arab Army has completed the liberation of Eastern Ghouta. The Russian Military Police has been deployed in the area.

• The Kremlin confirms that the channel of communication between Russian and US soldiers on operations in Syria, established to avoid incidents, remains active.

• On receiving Alí Akbar Velayati, an adviser to the Guide of the Iranian Revolution, in Damascus the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad launched a warning against any Western initiative that could destabilize the region even further.

• In a televised discussion, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, declared: “We are extremely concerned about the countries that use their military might to transform Syria into a terrain to prove their strength.”

• Gennady Gatilov, the Russian ambassador to the UN institutions at Geneva, denounced as “unacceptable” the fact that the World Health Association had echoed the allegations made by the White Helmets regarding an alleged chemical attack in Ghouta.

• The US President, Donald Trump, expressed himself once again on Twitter: “I never said when an attack on Syria would take place. It could be very soon or not so soon! In any event, the United States under my administration has done an excellent job to liberate the region of the Islamic State. Where is our “Thank you United States”?” [Note of Voltaire Red: it will be a month before the US naval group will be able to go on the offensive in the Mediterranean waters.]

• French President, Emmanuel Macron, declares on the TV channel TF1 that he has “evidence” of an alleged chemical attack on Ghouta.

• German Chancellor Angela Merkel announces that while she supports her allies, Germany will not participate in the military actions against Syria. She went on to add: “Now we have to acknowledge that it is evident that the destruction [of the Syrian chemical weapons] was not carried out in full.”

• The spokesperson for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maria Zajarova, declared: “Noone has conferred upon the Western leaders the right to appoint themselves as the world’s policemen, investigators, public prosecutors, judges and executioners, all at the same time.”

• The President of the Commission of Defense of the Russian Parliament, Vladimir Chamanov, announced that the Russian ships had left the Syrian harbour of Tartús, as had been agreed they would in the event of a threat.

• French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel had a telephone discussion and “deplored the current impasse in the UN Security Council, the resolutions of which are not being respected”.

• In a hearing before the US Congress, the Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, declared that there is no evidence that demonstrates the existence of the alleged chemical attack on Ghouta.

• The representative of the Syrian Arab Republic before the UN, Bachar Jaafari, announced that the inspectors of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) arrived in Syria, in various groups, on 12 and 13 April. According to OPCW, its experts would begin to work in Syria this Saturday.

• Sweden presented to the UN Security Council, right at the beginning of a meeting behind closed doors, a plan for resolution that requires the UN Secretary General to send to Syria a mission for disarmament to resolve “all issued tied up with the use of chemical weapons once and for all.”

Anoosha Boralessa