UNSC orders destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons

UNITED NATIONS: The UN Security Council unanimously passed a landmark resolution Friday ordering the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons and condemning a murderous poison gas attack in Damascus.

The major powers overcame a prolonged deadlock to approve the first council resolution on the conflict, which is now 30 months old with more than 100,000 dead.

UN leader Ban Ki-moon, a critic of the council’s paralysis, called the resolution “the first hopeful news on Syria in a long time”. Ban also said he hopes to convene a peace conference in mid-November.

Resolution 2118, the result of bruising negotiations between the United States and Russia, gives international binding force to a plan drawn up by the two to eliminate President Bashar al-Assad’s chemical arms.

There are no immediate sanctions over a chemical weapons attack confirmed by the UN.

But it allows for a new vote on possible measures if the Russia-US plan is breached.

Divisions over the war remained clear, however, in comments by their foreign ministers after the vote.

“Should the regime fail to act, there will be consequences,” US Secretary of State John Kerry warned the 15-member council after the vote sealing the US-Russian agreement.

But Kerry hailed the resolution.

“The Security Council has shown that when we put aside politics for the common good, we are still capable of doing big things,” he said. Reuters

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