Western strikes on Syria were aimed at preventing human suffering by reducing the government’s chemical weapons capabilities, UK Minister of State for the Middle East at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Alistair Burt said on Tuesday at the Brussels Conference Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region.
“The recent airstrikes carried by the United Kingdom, the US and France were carefully targeted. Their purpose was to prevent further human suffering by degrading the Syrian regime chemical weapons capabilities and to restore the international law that these weapons must not and should not be used,” Burt said.
The official pointed out that London would continue to cooperate with the international community in order to hold those responsible for the chemical attacks to account.
The minister also expressed his disappointment with the fact that the UN proposal for an independent investigation into the Duma incident had been vetoed.
On April 10, the UN Security Council failed to adopt either of the two Russian-drafted resolutions or the one drafted by the United States — all three called for an investigation into the reported chemical attack — because the diplomats from both sides had used their veto powers to block each others’ proposals.
The United States, the United Kingdom and France carried out strikes on Syria on April 14 following reports of a chemical weapons attack in the Damascus suburb of Douma, which they believed was carried out by the Syrian government. Damascus has refuted the accusations, saying that the chemical attack was staged, and condemned the Western strikes.