The U.K. will propose a resolution at the United Nations Security Council today that would authorize actions to protect civilians in Syria from chemical weapons, although Prime Minister David Cameron has not elaborated on what such actions might include.
From the Los Angeles Times:
LONDON – Britain said it would propose a resolution at the United Nations on Wednesday authorizing action to protect civilians in Syria from chemical weapons.
Prime Minister David Cameron did not specify what that action would be or whether the resolution would explicitly lay out military intervention. But the British leader was scheduled to meet with his national security advisors Wednesday to discuss military options that could include airstrikes on Syrian defense assets.
“We’ve always said we want the U.N. Security Council to live up to its responsibilities on Syria,” Cameron said. “Today they have an opportunity to do that.”
He said that the resolution would condemn the regime of Syrian president Bashar Assad for using chemical weapons and authorize “necessary measures for protecting civilians.”
Parliament is being recalled from its summer recess tomorrow in order to debate the U.K.’s response to the suspected chemical attack near Damascus last week.
Of course, with Russia, one of the Assad regime’s strongest allies, and China as a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council there is a good chance that the resolution will not be passed. Both have vetoed Security Council resolutions relating to Syria before. According to Cameron’s office, Russian President Vladimir Putin called Cameron yesterday and told him that there was no evidence that the Assad regime had used chemical weapons.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the U.N.’s special envoy to Syria, who thinks it is likely that a “chemical substance” was used in the massacre last week, has said that international law requires the U.N. to approve military intervention.
Although the U.K. will propose the resolution to authorize actions to protect civilians in Syria from chemical weapons, it was British Foreign Secretary William Hague who said that intervention in Syria could take place without a U.N. mandate.