European leaders are going to focus more attention to the alleged chemical attack in Syria. The issue will be discussed at the EU Council’s meeting by foreign ministers. The ministers are also planning on discussing the repercussions of the poisoning episode of former Russian military intelligence (GRU) spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, England.
The recent chemical attack occurred in the besieged suburbs of Damascus – Douma. Nonprofit organizations, including the White Helmets, pointed out to the potential use of chlorine bombs that had been dropped on the area, killings dozens and poisoning many locals. Russia rejected the reports and described the alleged chemical attack carried out by the government forces as false news. Bashar al-Assad, Syrian President and Commander-in-Chief of the Syrian Armed Forces also rejected the allegations of the chemical weapons being used. His government also added that this false news is meant to justify external military strikes, just like the one recently performed by Israel, which targeted the T-4 airbase near Homs.
European leaders – Emmanuel Macron and Theresa May – discussed the situation in Syria with the US President Donald Trump, who cancelled his trip to South America to monitor the developments in the Middle East and oversee the US response. Some analysts assume that the White House will coordinate further steps, including a potential military involvement, with France rather than the UK since there are concerns that Prime Minister May would not receive approval from the UK Parliament for strikes. In the meantime, the United Nations Security Council failed to establish an independent investigation into the suspected use of chemical weapons due to the veto by Russia.