World News

'Preserve evidence' in Syria's Douma: UN war crimes investigators

'Preserve evidence' in Syria's Douma: UN war crimes investigators

"The Cold War is back - with a vengeance but with a difference", Guterres warned at an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council.

Following airstrikes on Damascus, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said that all countries are obliged to "act consistently" with the UN Charter, noting that the document is "very clear on these issues".

And he said the safeguards and mechanisms that managed the risk of escalation between the USA and the Soviet Union in the past "no longer seem to be present".

"In my contacts with you - especially with the permanent members of the Security Council - I have been reiterating my deep concerns about the risks of the current impasse and stressed the need to avoid the situation spiralling out of control". But the secretary-general took a much broader view of the often-interlinked factors escalating the chaos and threatening peace in the Middle East.

He said the highly volatile situation risks "escalation, fragmentation and division as far as the eye can see with profound regional and global ramifications".

But he said there is no military solution to the conflict.

The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is deepening again, he said.

More news: Sabbatini with early RBC Heritage lead, Johnson 5 shots back

"For eight long years the people of Syria have endured suffering upon suffering". He said it is also "high time to end the Libyan conflict".

The United Nations Secretary-General has called on the global community to avoid actions which could escalate the crisis in Syria and deepen the suffering of its people.

On April 9, officers from the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Opposing Parties in Syria visited Douma but found no trace of chemical weapons there.

"The Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) team of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) will continue its deployment to the Syrian Arab Republic to establish facts around the allegations of chemical weapons use in Douma", the OPCW noted.

Guterres had termed the use of chemical weapons as "abhorrent", saying the suffering it causes is "horrendous".

Guterres urged the Security Council to "act responsibly in these risky circumstances", according to AFP. "This is exactly the risk we face today - that things spiral out of control", said the United Nations chief.