UNITED NATIONS, April 4. /TASS/. The United Nations Security Council will convene for an open emergency meeting on Wednesday to discuss reports about a presumable chemical attack in Syria’s province of Idlib, US Permanent Representative to the United Nations Nikki Haley, who chairs the Security Council in April, said on Tuesday.
"We have all seen the reports of the terrible chemical weapons attack in Syria, I'd like to inform the Council that the Presidency intends to convene a meeting in briefing format here in the open chamber tomorrow at 10 AM to discuss the attack," she said. "We will move our briefing and consultations on Columbia to the afternoon so that we can have this emergency meeting and we are hoping to get as much information on the Syrian attack as we can."
The meeting was initiated earlier on Tuesday by the United Kingdom and France.
"This is clearly a war crime and I call on the Security Council members who have previously used their vetoes to defend the indefensible to change their course," said British Permanent Representative to the United Nations Matthew Rycroft. "It’s clearly very bad news for peace in Syria. But it demonstrates once again that the regime will stop at nothing to remain in power, even the use of the most heinous weapons imaginable."
France’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Francois Delattre, stressed that all those responsible for the presumable attack must be brought to justice. "The perpetrators must be held accountable. We need to address this issue at the Security Council as soon as possible," he said.
The news agency Reuters reported earlier on Tuesday, citing the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that an air strike by Syrian or Russian jets had allegedly killed 58 people, including 11 children, and wounded 300. As Reuters said, the air strike could have been carried out by the Syrian government forces in a suspected gas attack.
The Syrian army denied any allegations, saying "it is not using and has not used any chemical weapons."
The Russian defense ministry dismissed these allegations as fake news, saying that "Russian warplanes carried out no strikes in the Khan Shaykhun area, Idlib Governorate."
Meanwhile, the United Nations Syria envoy told journalists in Geneva the organization has no detailed information on that incident.