Australia condemns the reported chemical weapons attack by the Syrian regime on Saturday 7 April, which killed 70 civilians and injured hundreds more in Eastern Ghouta.

Any use of chemical weapons is a violation of international law, including the Chemical Weapons Convention and UNSC Resolution 2118.

We urge all parties involved in the continuing conflict in Syria, including Russia and Iran, to apply maximum pressure on the Syrian regime to fully halt any and all chemical weapons related activity.

This latest attack comes after the Syrian regime used a sarin nerve agent one year ago at Khan Sheikhoun which killed 90 innocent civilians.

Following that attack, as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, Russia vetoed further work by the OPCW, UN Joint Investigative Mechanism, into Syria’s use of chemical weapons. Since that time Syria has used chemical weapons on multiple occasions.

Russia should not oppose discussion of this latest incident at today’s United Nations Security Council meeting in New York.

The use of chemical weapons at anytime, anywhere, under any circumstances is abhorrent and deserves investigation and accountability.

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