The Australian Government condemns in the strongest possible terms the chemical weapons attack against civilians, including children, at Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib Province, Syria on 4 April 2017.

The use of chemical weapons is illegal and abhorrent.

While the full facts are still to be determined, if the Assad regime is responsible for this attack those who approved and deployed these weapons must be held accountable.

The use of chemical weapons is in violation of international law, including the Chemical Weapons Convention and UNSCR 2118. These abuses cannot continue to be committed with impunity.

We welcome and support the United Nations’ efforts to verify the details of this latest attack. There also needs to be an independent, international investigation into the incident.

Russia and Iran, as countries engaged in the Syrian conflict, should use their influence to pressure the Assad regime to cease illegal, chemical attacks against its own people. We call on Russia and Iran to take genuine steps to enforce a ceasefire in Syria.

The UN Security Council needs to address this situation as soon as possible. We call on the Council to take action in response to this attack.

The continuing deaths of civilians in the Syrian conflict is deplorable. Australia is addressing the conflict in Syria through our military and humanitarian efforts, and through our autonomous sanctions.

We call on all parties to reduce the violence and engage in UN‑brokered efforts to find a political solution to this terrible conflict.

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