Syria ready for US 'aggression'

President Bashar al-Assad has said Syria is capable of confronting any "external aggression", Reuters reports, citing state television. The United States are seeking approval from Congress to take military action.

Live updates

Humanitarian grounds is 'controversial' justification

UN chemical weapons experts collect samples from a site in Syria. Credit: Reuters

The use of humanitarian grounds as justification to intervene in Syria is controversial, Sandesh Sivakumaran, associate professor of public international law at University of Nottingham, said

He said: "The legal position put forward most recently by the government is consistent with the UK's position on humanitarian intervention but many other states have rejected that doctrine or the right of humanitarian intervention.

"Recently we have also seen this doctrine of responsibility to protect, but that requires the security council. The responsibility to protect doctrine requires that states go through the security council, it does not stand as an independent principle in its own right.

"The very idea that a state may use force by the virtue of this notion of humanitarian intervention is extremely controversial. Many other states have rejected that position entirely."

Advertisement

'Ghost of Blair and WMD' make Syria intervention hard

Photographer Paul Conroy was badly injured in Homs last year. Credit: Reuters

The "ghost of Tony Blair and Weapons of Mass Destruction" will make it virtually impossible to convince the British public of the need to intervene in Syria, according to a photographer who was nearly killed there.

Paul Conroy, 49, was badly injured last year in Homs alongside his Sunday Times colleague, the acclaimed war reporter Marie Colvin, who was killed.

Mr Conroy, who has been calling for intervention in the war-torn nation for more than a year, said Britain's entry into the 2003 Iraq war under then prime minister Tony Blair on "limited, sporadic and patchy" intelligence, now left the public sceptical.

He said: "The ghost of Blair and WMD has left us hogtied. That makes it virtually impossible to get public opinion onside. But there needs to be a response.

"The slaughter of 100,000 in Syria should have been addressed long ago with no-fly zones and safe havens."

Charity warns air strikes on Syria may be 'catastrophic'

Air strikes on Syria could have "catastrophic effects" on the desperate humanitarian crisis in the region, a charity warned.

Christian Aid warned that finding a political solution was the "only way" to achieve lasting peace in Syria.

If an air strike is announced, the number of people fleeing Syria will increase dramatically, with catastrophic effects on the already desperate humanitarian situation in neighbouring countries such as Lebanon and Iraq.

An escalation in military engagement within Syria will worsen an already-precarious humanitarian situation, leading to more civilian casualties and further destruction of infrastructure.

It has the potential to jeopardise humanitarian access without bringing an end to the conflict any closer.

– Janet Symes of Christian Aid

UN inspectors continue probing 'chemical attack'

UN weapons inspectors have been investigating an alleged chemical attack in Damascus for a third day.

This video, which was uploaded to a social networking website, purports to show the inspectors in the suburb of Zamalka east of the city.

ITV News cannot independently verify this video at present.

Advertisement

Assad: 'Syria will defend itself in face of aggression'

Syria President Bashar al-Assad has been quoted as saying the country will defend itself "in the face of any aggression" as United States and Britain contemplate potential military strikes.

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad chairing a meeting with regional leaders today Credit: Reuters

"The threats of direct aggression against Syria will only increase our commitment to our deep-rooted principles and the independent will of our people," he told a delegation of Yemeni politicians, according to state television.

UN experts 'reach alleged gas attack area'

The United Nations team of chemical weapons experts have reached a rebel-held territory outside Damascus and are preparing to start a third day of investigations into alleged gas attacks in the area, Reuters reports.

The inspectors have arrived in the suburb of Douma and are going to examine the sites where rebels say rockets loaded with chemical weapons struck, activists said.

Load more updates Back to top

Latest ITV News reports