The EU condemns in the strongest terms the air strike that hit the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province on 4 April 2017, which has had horrific consequences, causing the deaths and injuries of scores of civilians including children and relief workers, with many victims displaying symptoms of gas poisoning. The EU urges the United Nations Security Council to come together, strongly condemn the attack on Khan Sheikhoun and ensure a swift, independent and impartial investigation of the attack. Those guilty of violations of international law and the use of chemical weapons have to be sanctioned accordingly. In March, the EU added 4 high-ranking Syrian military officials to the sanctions list for their role in the use of chemical weapons against the civilian population, in line with the EU’s policy to fight the proliferation and use of chemical weapons.
On Tuesday, Russian Defense Minister, Sergey Shoigu, announced that Russian military has launched a large-scale operation against terrorists stationed in Homs and Idlib provinces of Syria. According to the Russian Defense Minister, the operation involves the frigate Admiral Grigorovich that has made launches of Kalibr cruise missiles, Bastion coastal defense systems and, for the first time in the Navy’s history, the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov has started to take part in combat operations. Shoigu asserted that strikes are focused on ammunition depots, groups of terrorists and their training centers, as well as facilities being used to manufacture mass destruction means that are used against civilians. President Vladimir Putin previously ordered the Defense Ministry to provide reliable air cover for the Russian forces in Syria. On Tuesday, Shoigu said the Russian military has been covered with S-300 and S-400 Triumph air defense systems.
At least seven children and two pregnant women were killed in an air strike in Syria’s rebel stronghold province of Idlib on Tuesday, a monitor said.