Joint UN-Arab League envoy opposed to military action in Syria

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Lakhdar Brahimi

Any external military action against the Syrian government must have the backing of the UN Security Council, according to Lakhdar Brahimi the Joint Special Representative of the United Nations and the League of Arab States for Syria.

Speaking in Geneva, Mr Brahimi said he was opposed to any external military action adding that the war between government forces and opposition groups has already killed 100,000 people.

He said some form of substance was used against civilians on August 21 in Damascus, but said the UN chemical inspectors on the ground must be given the opportunity to undertake their investigations.

"International law says that military action must be taken after a decision by the Security Council. I do know that President Obama and the American administration are not known to be trigger happy. What they will decide I don't know. But certainly international law is very clear, the Security Council has to be brought in. I don't think you will find many people who think that this is the first outrageous thing that has been done by this regime. 100,000 people have been killed. Quite a few of them have been killed by the regime. From my point of view, if there is one complaint about the international community it's that they haven't done enough before 21 August. If they can do more after 21 August then that would be great. There has been enough killings in Syria. We don't want more killings. We want this killing to end. So I am against military intervention by principle."

Mr Brahimi said the situation in Syria was unacceptable and appealed to Syrians and the international community to develop the political will to address the crisis seriously.

Patrick Maigua, United Nations Radio, Geneva.

Duration 1.46″

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