UNITED NATIONS, April 13. /TASS/. Syria will defend itself if it is attacked by the United States, the United Kingdom and France, Syria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Bashar al-Jaafari said at a UN Security Council meeting on Friday.
"These three countries - the United States, the United Kingdom and France - if they think they can attack us and infringe upon our sovereignty, we will have no other choice than to make use of Article 51 of the [UN] Charter which gives us the right to defend ourselves. It is not a threat, it is a pledge. We will not let anyone infringe upon our sovereignty," he stressed.
"The Syrian government has invited an OPCW fact-finding mission to come to Syria and visit the site of the alleged incident," he said. "We are ready to provide all necessary conditions for a transparent work of this mission. We expect this team to begin work within hours."
"This invitation means that we believe in diplomatic skills and are not afraid [of investigation]," he noted. "At the same time, we strongly condemn the fact that three member countries of the UN Security Council are threatening to use force in violation of Article 1 of the United Nations Charter."
He cited the United States’ first President, George Washington, who once said that the voice of truth emanating from a nation that wants to live free is louder that the sound of gunshots. "We in Syria also have leaders like George Washington, outstanding personalities. They do the same - the defend their country’s unity and sovereignty," the Syrian diplomat stressed.
The United Nations Security Council met on Friday for an extraordinary session to discuss the situation in the Middle East amid the US’ threats of an airstrike on Syria following reports about alleged chemical attack in the city of Douma on April 7.
The Russian diplomat stressed that there were no "reliable evidence" of any chemical attack. "Our specialists found no traces of the use of toxic agents. Douma’s residents know nothing about the attack. All information about the alleged attack comes from anti-government forces that are interested in such development of the situation," Nebenzya said, adding that Russia has evidence indicating that "it was a provocation involving secret services of a number of countries."
Some non-governmental organizations, including White Helmets, claim that chemical weapons were used in Douma, Eastern Ghouta, on April 7. According to the statement uploaded to the organization’s website on April 8, chlorine bombs were dropped on the city to kill dozens and poison other local civilians who had to be brought to hospital.
The Russian Foreign Ministry dismissed that as fake news. The Russian Defense Ministry stated that White Helmets were an unreliable source, notorious for disseminating falsehoods. The Russian center for the reconciliation of conflicting parties on April 9 examined Douma to find no traces of chemical weapons. Nevertheless, the United States, the United Kingdom and France are threatening Syria with possible airstrikes.