UN Secretary General Ban Ki - moon has called for a diplomatic solution to the Syrian unrest as the West appears to be moving toward taking military action against Damascus.
Addressing world powers calling for military action against the Syrian government, Ban said on Wednesday that the US and its allies should give time to the UN team investigating the alleged chemical attack near Damascus to determine which side used the deadly weapon. "We must pursue all avenues to get the parties to the negotiating table," Ban said. He also called on UN Security Council, whose permanent members are divided over Syria, to unite and bring peace to the crisis-hit country. "The body interested with maintaining international peace and security cannot be 'missing in action'," Ban said, adding, "The council must at last find the unity to act. It must use its authority for peace." Meanwhile, UN-Arab League special envoy for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, said any foreign military action in Syria needs UN Security Council authorization. Hundreds of people were killed and scores of others were injured in a chemical attack in the Damascus suburbs of Ain Tarma, Zamalka and Jobar on August 21. The foreign-backed opposition has blamed the Syrian government for the deadly attack. Opposition sources say 1,300 people were killed in the poisonous gas attack. The Damascus government, however, has vehemently denied the accusations, saying the chemical attack was carried out by the militants themselves as a false-flag operation. In March, dozens of people were killed in a chemical attack in the northern province of Aleppo. A Russian-led inquiry said that militants were behind the deadly attack.