France Seeks Emergency UN Meeting After Suspected Chemical Attack in Syria

Apr 4, 2017

BEIRUT - France's foreign minister is calling for an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting over a suspected chemical attack in Syria's rebel-held Idlib province.
 
Jean-Marc Ayrault condemned the "atrocious act" in a statement Tuesday, saying he is seeking the emergency meeting because of events of extreme gravity "that threaten international security."
 
Ayrault said Tuesday's attack caused "a large number of victims, including children." Opposition activists say the attack killed dozens of people and was among the worst in Syria's six-year civil war.
 
France has supported Syrian rebels against President Bashar Assad for years, and lobbied for an international military campaign against Assad over his use of chemical weapons in 2013. France is a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council.
 
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday he was "shocked and outraged" by images of the victims and called on the international community to "fully and finally remove these horrible weapons from Syria."
 
In a rare clash along the Syrian border last month, Israel shot down an anti-aircraft missile fired at its planes as they were carrying out an airstrike on a suspected weapons convoy from Syria to Hezbollah militants in Lebanon.
 
A Syrian opposition monitoring group says that Tuesday's suspected chemical attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun killed dozens of people, including several children, and warned that the death toll is likely to rise.

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