Syria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Bashar al-Ja’fari’s full speech at the UN Security Council on April 14, 2018, after the USA, UK and France carried out unilateral strikes against Syria.
Thank you Mr. President.
I welcome the presence of the Secretary General today in these very important moments in the history and work of the Security Council. The Secretary General, in his Statement yesterday, warned that the Cold War is back. This is absolutely right. We all agree with the accuracy of this Statement. It is important to recall, at this opportunity, who are those who relaunched the philosophy of the Cold War.
We all of course remember that following the collapse of the former USSR, a philosophic book by Francis Fukuyama was published here (in the USA), called The End of History. And another American thinker, Samuel Huntington, wrote The Clash of Civilizations. These two books founded the return of the Cold War philosophy. Indeed, the gist of these two books was as follow: “People of the world, either you follow the path of the United States and submit to its will, or we will attack you.” As goes the American saying, “My way or the highway.” Thus did the philosophy and atmosphere of the Cold War return.
Lies are useless, ladies and gentlemen. Lies are to no avail. They can be of use to the liar just once. We can be fooled by a lie only once. But when the lie is repeated, well, this lie is exposed as such and exposes the liar.
My colleague, the Representative of France, announced that their aggression, along with the United Kingdom and the United States, was carried out on behalf of the international community. This is what he said. “La communauté internationale.” I wonder about which international community the French Representative is speaking. Is he speaking of an international community that actually exists? Has this international community that you represent authorized this tripartite aggression against my country? Did your three governments receive a mandate from the Security Council to attack my country?
My American, French and British colleagues have claimed that they have bombed centers for the production of chemical weapons in Syria. This is what they said. If the governments of these three countries knew the actual location of these production centers they claim to have bombed, why didn’t they share these information with the OPCW? Why didn’t they share this information with the fact-finding mission present in Damascus before attacking my country? This is a question.
By the way, I would like to assure you all that the experts group from the OPCW has arrived today at midday. And of course, the trip of the group from Beirut to Damascus took a whole day more than planned, and we do not know the reasons for this delay, until the attack took place. It is as if someone made sure that this team of investigators would not reach Damascus yesterday, before the aggression took place, waiting for it to happen. But the delegation did reach Damascus today at midday and as it requested, it will hold a consultative meeting in two hours, at 7 pm, with the Syrian side. My government will provide every support to this delegation so that it can carry out its mission successfully.
The building of the Barzeh research facility which was targeted by this tripartite aggression, this very building was visited twice last year by experts from the OPCW. The building was thoroughly searched. And they delivered us an official document that Stated that there were no chemical activities in this center, and that Syria had complied with its obligations vis-à-vis the OPCW. Now if the OPCW experts handed us last year an official document which confirms that this center, the Barzeh research center, had no chemical activity that would contravene our obligations vis-a-vis the OPCW, how do you reconcile this fact with the accusations we have heard today, that this aggression targeted a chemical weapons production center?
The colleague from the United States said that the time for discussion ended yesterday., that the time for discussion was over. Well, then what are we doing today as diplomats and ambassadors in this Security Council? Our mission here is to speak, to make clear to each other what happens, to shed light on the issues. We are not here in the Security Council to justify an aggression against such or such country. How can we State that the discussion is over? The discussion never ends for diplomats in the Security Council if the goal is to prevent an aggression, and to implement the UN Charter and principles of international law.
The British and French colleagues spoke about a plan of action and invited the Secretary-General to implement it, even before the Security Council and the Syrian government agreed to it. And the steps of their plan are truly surprising and astonishing. And I would like to present a counter plan of action in the name of my government, for the three aggressors to implement today. We consider that this should have been the plan of action for today.
First of all, reading the provisions of the United Nations Charter in order to establish the responsibility of these three States in maintaining international peace and security, rather than threatening and destroying them. I brought three versions of the Charter, two in English and one in French. Perhaps these States would benefit from rereading what the Charter states.
Second, these three States should immediately stop supporting in any way the armed terrorist groups in my country. Immediately.
Third, put an end to the lies and fabrication of allegations to justify the ongoing aggression of these three States against my country, Syria.
Fourth, these three countries should realize that after seven years of a terrorist war imposed on my country, Syria, a war carried out by these countries and their instruments in the region, their missiles, warships and planes will not weaken us nor break our will and determination to defeat your terrorism, and they will not prevent our Syrian people to decide his own political future by himself, and without any foreign interference. We repeat it for the thousandth time: we will not allow any foreign interference to shape our future. I promised you yesterday that we would not remain inactive against any aggression, and the Syrian government kept his promise. And I will explain how the Syrian government kept his promise.
Allow me now to address the members who are actually committed to international law by telling them that the Syrian Arab Republic, its allies and friends, and they are numerous, are perfectly capable of dealing with the brutal aggression that my country faced this morning. What we ask from you today, diplomats and ambassadors who are attached to international legitimacy and to the UN Charter, is to ask the United States, Great Britain and France to read the provisions of the UN Charter regarding the protection of the sovereignty of States and the nonuse of force in international relations. And perhaps the governments of these three countries will realize, be it only once, that their role in this Council is to maintain international peace and security rather than undermine them. As I just said, I have three copies of the Charter. I ask the Secretary to distribute them to the three delegations so that they may enlighten their ignorance and tyranny.
Mr. President, in a flagrant violation of international law and of the laws and principles of the United Nations, the United States, Great Britain and France, at 3:55 this morning, Saturday, the 14th of April 2018, Damascus time, conducted an abject aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic. This aggression amounted to about 110 missiles being launched against the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic, at the capital Damascus and other cities and regions. 110 missiles.
In response to this brutal aggression, the Syrian Arab Republic exercised its legitimate rights to defend itself guaranteed by article 51 of the UN Charter and repelled the iniquitous aggression. Syrian air defenses faced the missiles of the tripartite aggressors, and were able to intercept a number of them, even though some of them did reach the research center in the Barzeh region of the capital Damascus (not outside but inside the capital), which is a research center including laboratories. Luckily, the damages were only material. Some of the “nice, smart and new” missiles that targeted a military installation close to the city of Homs were rerouted. The explosion of one of them injured three civilians.
The governments of three States prepared the ground for their brutal aggression with hostile statements from their highest officials saying that their only excuse for hampering the progress of the Syrian Arab Army against the terrorist armed groups would be the use of chemical weapons. Indeed, the signals of these aggressors reached the armed groups, and in a race against time, these groups presented this masquerade of the use of chemical weapons in Douma. They used false witnesses, created a false scene of the claimed attack just as they did before, and thus provided the pretext for this brutal aggression, which can only be explained by the fact that the original aggressors, the US, UK, and France, decided to interfere directly in order to revenge the defeat of their terrorist proxies in the Ghouta.
By the way, ladies and gentlemen, those who fabricated the masquerade of the chemical attack in Ghouta were caught and admitted on television that they fabricated the whole story from the beginning to the end. We have it on camera and we are ready to provide the UN Presidency with video if it wishes so.
Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to draw the attention of those of you attached to international law and to the UN Charter to the fact that this blatant aggression conveys a new message by the three aggressors to the terrorist groups, telling them to continue using chemical weapons in the future and committing their terrorist crimes, not only in Syria but also in other countries. There is no doubt about it.
In 146 letters, we have drawn your attention to the possession of chemical weapons by the terrorist groups and of their and plans to use them in Syria. 146 letters are in your hands and the hands of international institutions. Some are trying today to reinvent the wheel and determine the sex of angels. You all know, ladies and gentleman, that this aggression took place just when a fact-finding team from the OPCW was supposed to arrive in Syria at the request of my country’s government to investigate the alleged Douma chemical attack. So in a nutshell, the main message that these three countries addressed to you and to the whole world is that they do not care the least about your authority as members of the Security Council, and that they do not want a transparent and independent investigation. They are exerting efforts to undermine the work of the inquiry team and prejudge its findings, pressuring the experts so that they would cover their lies and fabrications and not expose them, just as it happened six years ago in 2013 with Dr. Sellström in his way from Damascus to Khan al-Assal, as I explained to you in a previous declaration.
Today’s attack was not just an attack on Syria, but as my dear friend the Ambassador of Bolivia said, this is an attack against the UN Charter, the Security Council and international law, an attack against 193 States members of the United Nations. Washington, London, and Paris’ efforts to make the UN fact-finding mission fail is a continued historical path, in spite of the fact that these three countries keep ranting about their alleged support to such international institutions. At the same time, inside the United Nations, they resort to political pressure and provocations behind closed doors so that they can prevent the UN from carrying out its missions. They strive to make it deviate from its mandate and from the objectives for which it was founded.
We recall what happened to all the fact-finding missions that were in charge of Iraq, Libya, Yugoslavia, and Africa. No fact-finding mission can ever succeed as long as it is submitted to provocations, blackmail and political pressures. It is impossible.
To the three aggressors, I say that you are impostors, hypocrites and liars. You strive for the failure of any UN action that does not pursue your interests. Ever since the UN was founded, you have kept trying to exploit and obfuscate all the international institution’s endeavors and achievements. The history of the investigative and fact-finding missions in Iraq, Yugoslavia, Libya, Syria and Africa are witnesses to the fact that you say is very different from what you do. You have exhausted the agendas of the Security Council for decades, diverting it from its role to establish peace and security in the world, and making it an instrument in the pursuit of your aggressive policies of colonialism and interference.
Yesterday evening, Mr. President, the main headline in US and Western media was the broadcasting of lies and dupery exerted in the framework of an information campaign that has already been launched before, meant to promote a false victory and illusory successes. They know very well that it is nothing but lies.
While these three governments were committing their brutal aggression against my country, Syria, our air defense system countered it with a great deal of expertise, downing these 100 missiles and preventing [most of] them from reaching their target. At the same time, the US Defense Minister, along with the Commander of the US forces and aggression, were standing at the tribune of a staged scene truly astonishing by its level of lies and reality distortion. As you all saw yesterday, they remained unable to answer factual questions that the world opinion needs to see answered.
I myself, along with millions of viewers, felt pity for them in this spectacle, as they were standing like two ashamed pupils, repeating sentences devoid of meaning that didn’t answer the questions of a journalist that was trying to clarify the facts about this strike against targets supposedly full of chemical weapons and the great dangers it would be for the civilians because of the spread and evaporation of these alleged substances. There was no answer. And they were also unable to answer another journalist who asked the US Defense Minister, and I quote, “You said yesterday from this platform that you had no proofs that the Syrian government launched this chemical attack in Douma. So what happened in the past few hours? How did you change your mind?” The answer was that within these few hours, he got a confirmation from the intelligence services.
The Syrian Arab Republic condemns in the firmest way this tripartite US-UK-France aggression against her, which once again shows indisputably that they have no respect whatsoever for international law, even though they constantly speak about it, repeatedly, as the liars and slanderers they are. These countries have shown their belief in the law of the jungle and the logic of force, while they are occupying permanent seats at the Security Council, entrusted by the State members of the United Nations with the fundamental responsibility to maintain international peace and security, and to stop any aggression in accordance with its principles and with the UN Charter.
Syria is disgusted with the disgraceful position of the rulers of the Emirate of Qatar who supported this spiteful tripartite Western colonialist aggression against Syria, and allowed its lava to be launched from the al-Udeid US airbase in Qatar. It is not surprising that the kids ruling the Qatar Emirate would take this stance, as they have supported the terrorist gangs of the Muslim Brotherhood and others in a variety of ways, in order to shatter stability of the Arab countries, especially Syria.
The Syrian Arab Republic is asking the international community, if it does indeed exist – we have heard a new definition of the international community today –, and the Security Council to staunchly condemn this aggression, which will only aggravate the tensions in the region and in the world, and constitute a threat to international peace and security throughout the world.
Ladies and gentlemen, those of you committed to international law, I call upon you to imagine with me the scene of the meeting held yesterday in the US Security council where they decided to attack Syria. This is what I imagine they said to each other: “We have no legal basis for a military strike against Syria. We have no proof that a chemical attack even occurred in Douma. But let us put all that aside, because we have never needed, in any military action that we ever carried out, (to resort to) international law or to any legal pretext.” Then they keep talking to each other, this is how I imagine the meeting of yesterday: “This military attack is necessary for us and our allies, so that the public opinion in our countries can be diverted from the scandals of our politicians and so that the corrupted rulers of some Gulf countries pay all the expenses of this aggression. And most importantly, so that we protect the terrorism that we have nurtured for years in Syria.”
Thank you, Mr. President.