The US delegation left their seats as Hussam Edin Aala, the Syrian ambassador to the UN, opened the latest round of the conference.
Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to UNOG Hussam Edin Aala on Tuesday began chairing the conference. However, United States has objected to Syria chairing the conference and reiterated its accusations that Damascus has allegedly used chemical weapons against its civilian population.
U.S. expresses outrage at #Syria’s presidency of the Conference on Disarmament. “We cannot turn a blind eye to the presidency of a regime that stands for everything this body was conceived to prevent.” — @USAmbCD Robert Wood. https://t.co/mjufu2FGSE pic.twitter.com/DKYi2646uJ— U.S. Mission Geneva (@usmissiongeneva) May 29, 2018
US Ambassador to UNOG Robert Wood called Damascus' chairmanship a "travesty." The United Kingdom supported the US protest against Syria assuming the chairmanship.
US Accusations Against Syria
Earlier, the US and some of its allies accused Damascus of using chemical weapons in the Syrian town of Douma on April 7. The Syrian government and Russia have refuted the allegations, saying that it was staged by local militants and the White Helmets non-governmental organization. The Syrian government had also invited the experts from OPCW to investigate the reports.
As soon as the reports on the alleged chemical attack started circulating in the Syrian opposition media, the Russian Center for Syrian Reconciliation representatives inspected the location of the claimed attack and questioned local doctors, who said that they had not received individuals with symptoms of chemical poisoning.
Reacting to the non-confirmed reports, the United States, the UK and France launched missile strikes against Syria. The strike was launched on April 14, the same day the OPCW mission was set to visit the sites.