United Nations chief says Syria tensions could spark 'full-blown military escalation'

United Nations chief says Syria tensions could spark 'full-blown military escalation'

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday warned of the danger of a full-blown military escalation in Syria.

"Today, I called the Ambassadors of the five Permanent Members of the Security Council to reiterate my deep concern about the risks of the current impasse and stressed the need to avoid the situation spiraling out of control", Guterres said.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres said at the session that the worsening situation in the Middle East is threatening global peace and security.

On the other hand, the recent threats by US President Donald Trump of an imminent attack on Syria have increased tensions and uncertainty on the global scenario.

He compared this divide to others - such as the Cold War and the Palestinian-Israeli divide.

The UN Security Council has been unable to reach agreement over Syria.

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US President Trump appeared to roll back somewhat on his threat for a military strike against Syria, tweeting that action could be taken "very soon or not so soon at all".

"We continue to observe unsafe military preparations for an illegal act of force against a sovereign state", Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told the Security Council.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Washington estimates that Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad's forces have used chemical weapons at least 50 times during the seven-year-long conflict. "We are banking on sober thinking among both American politicians and USA military brass, who perfectly understand that the risk of a clash between the two superpowers really does exist", he said.

"All nations and all people will be harmed if we allow Assad to normalise the use of chemical weapons", Haley said.

In remarks to the Security Council in NY, he said: "I appeal to the Security Council to fulfil its duties and not give up on efforts to agree upon a dedicated, impartial, objective and independent mechanism for attributing responsibility with regard to the use of chemical weapons".

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