UN Chief Presses Security Council For Action Over Syria

The council has met five times this week on Syria amid repeated pleas from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to end divisions over Syria.

With regard to the wider Middle Eastern region, Guterres said the situation is in chaos, to such an extent it has become a threat to global peace and security.

Trump's National Security Council was to meet later Friday at the level of agency deputy heads, she said.

"The Cold War is back - with a vengeance but with a difference", Mr Guterres warned. "The mechanisms and the safeguards to manage the risks of escalation that existed in the past no longer seem to be present", he warned.

The United States is consulting with Britain and France about a joint military response to the toxic gas attack in the rebel-held town of Douma that medics and rescuers said left at least 40 people dead on Saturday.

But the secretary-general took a much broader view of the often-interlinked factors escalating the chaos and threatening peace in the Middle East.

Mr Guterres warned that "many forms of escalation are possible".

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He highlighted the Palestinian-Israeli divide, the Sunni-Shiite divide, which is evident from the Gulf to the Mediterranean.

On Syria, Mr Guterres said: "We see confrontations and proxy wars involving several national armies, a number of armed opposition groups, many national and worldwide militia, foreign fighters from everywhere in the world, and various terrorist organisations".

Tension between Russian Federation and the West came amid signs the parallel conflict between Israel and Iran's forces and proxies in Syria is also on the point of escalation.

He expressed outrage at reports of alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria and regretted the SC has been unable to reach agreement on a resolution on the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

The experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) are planning to start their activities in the Syrian area of Eastern Ghouta, where a chemical attack allegedly took place, a source in the Syrian government said Saturday.

Turkish Foreign Ministry in a statement welcomed the strikes as an appropriate response to the suspected chemical attack.

The 93-year-old added that even a lesser military attack "is a risky thing" that can spiral out of control.

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