As United Nations (U.N.) chemical weapons inspectors continue to investigate the civilian massacre in Damascus on August 21, members of the United Nations and NATO, including the United States and the United Kingdom are considering what action is to be taken against the Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime.
On Thursday Assad said Syria “will defend itself against any aggression" as a response to Western country strong warnings of a punitive strike following the attack on civilians in the rebel-held strongholds of Damascus.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged Western powers to hold off on any decisions until his experts can present their findings to U.N. member states and the Security Council, the AP has reported.
On Wednesday Irish leader Enda Kenny expressed his “condemnation of the recent gas attacks” and said “only a political solution can bring peace to Syria.”
In a statement Kenny said, “The horrific consequences of the illegal use of these armaments against a civilian population are appalling and an affront to the values of the United Nations. The use of these weapons has rightly been outlawed for almost a century. The deliberate use of chemical weapons against a civilian population is a very serious war crime.
“It is essential that the U.N. inspection team have unrestricted and safe access to the sites of these attacks to reach its findings. Ireland and the wider international community await the report of the inspection team as a matter of urgency.
He added, “I call on all members of the Security Council to fulfil their responsibilities under the UN Charter to reach agreement on the necessary measures to uphold international law and protect the fundamental rights of the Syrian population. I also reiterate my call for the Security Council to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court to ensure that those who commit or order war crimes and crimes against humanity are held accountable.
“I reiterate that only a political solution can bring peace to Syria.”
In Dublin members of the Syrian community plan to protest against expected Western military intervention.
The group, Syria Solidarity Ireland, made up of Irish and Syrians and founded in early 2013 to challenge media bias, is organising the demonstration which will assemble at O'Connell Monument, O'Connell Street in Dublin on Saturday at 12 noon.
Mustafa Hamido, a Syrian from Aleppo and a student in Ireland, said ,"We decided to take action and organise a demonstration to open people's eyes on what's happening in Syria. The narrative of a 'civil war' and 'revolution' is totally at odds with the reality on the ground. There are extremist militants flocking to Syria from all across the world, many of them aligned to Al-Qaeda or its affiliated organisations. They launch mortars and rockets, kidnap civilians and carry out public executions - every single day there is an atrocity of some kind, carried out by what we're told are 'rebels'. America, Britain and it's other allies have been arming the so-called 'FSA' with the knowledge that these groups are handing the weapons straight to Al-Qaeda affiliates who make up most of the extremist groups operating in Syria - of which there are over two thousand.
"Right now, extremists have confidence with the promise of Western bombs falling on Damascus. They are using the opportunity to bomb areas in the city and it's outskirts, including Christian churches and other civilian areas."
Meanwhile in the United States President Barack Obama said on Wednesday that he has not decided how the U.S. will respond but signaled it moving toward a punitive strike. He said Assad’s regime is behind the attacks that there "need to be international consequences."
For more information on Syria Solidarity Ireland’s demonstration in Dublin visit their Facebook page.