World Bulletin/News Desk
Britain is preparing to attack Syria after concluding that President Bashar al-Assad's government used chemical weapons near Damascus last week, a report said Monday, dpa reported.
"We are clear in the British government that it was the Assad regime that carried out this chemical attack," Foreign Minister William Hague said Sunday.
Hague was dismissive of Syria's willingness to admit UN inspectors to the site: "If the regime believed somebody else had carried out this attack then they would have given access to the UN inspectors several days ago."
A report in The Times newspaper said the British and American army chiefs would meet Monday. A single bombardment of government positions from ships was the favoured approach, it said.
No need for UN resolution to attack
British Foreign Secretary William Hague stated that the UK was considering its options regarding the chemical weapon usage in Syria, and that it would be possible to respond without the unanimous backing of the UN.
"Diplomatic pressure has not worked on Syria", Hague told BBC radio 4 Today's programme, saying any response would be "in accordance with international law."
Hague criticized the UN Security Council (UNSC), split over Syria, saying it had not "shouldered its responsibilities."
Hague had stated on Sunday that evidence of chemical weapons usage in Syria could have become degraded over the last few days and other evidence could have been tampered with.
After the Syrian regime issued permission on Sunday for the UN team on the ground to investigate the area where the chemical weapons attack occurred, Hague stated that they have to be realistic now about what the UN team can achieve.
"Much of the evidence could have been destroyed by... artillery bombardment; other evidence could have become degraded over the last few days, and other evidence could have been tampered with," he said.
Indicating that all evidence currently pointed to the responsibility of the Syrian regime, Hague also expressed concern that too much time had elapsed for the UN inspectors to gather enough concrete evidence.
"We have to be realistic now about what the UN team can achieve," Hague said. "We can not in the twenty first century allow the idea that chemical weapons can be used with impunity, that people can be killed in this way and that there are no consequences for it."
He added that they believed it was important to give a strong response to that idea, emphasizing that the usage of chemical weapons was out of line regardless of whoever was responsible, whether the Assad regime or any other party, and that the world would react in the case of this line being crossed.
Britain, along with the US, had formerly warned the Syrian regime about giving a 'serious reaction' if the usage of chemical weapons were proved. British Prime Minister David Cameron and US president Barrack Obama held a 40 minute telephone conversation on Sunday over the Syrian crisis.
Hague had said they believe that the Assad regime was responsible for the chemical attack.
On the other hand, Cameron is expected to place the Syrian incident on agenda in the House of Commons before any possible military intervention to Syria. He is demanded to call urgently the members of the House of Commons for a meeting. It is reminded that Hague had promised to receive approval of the House of Commons over arming the Syrian oppositions, but that he did not make a similar promise on a military intervention.
On August 21, the Syrian opposition coalition blamed Syrian regime forces of carrying out a chemical weapon attack in suburbs of capital Damascus which it said killed at least 1,300 people.
But the Syrian regime strongly denied the claim and described reports and figures as "lies and groundless," saying that reports were aimed at "distracting a visiting team of United Nations chemical weapons experts from their mission."
Güncelleme Tarihi: 26 Ağustos 2013, 15:18