Italy’s prime minister:’Peace should prevail in response to crimes in Syria’

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Italy’s prime minister said Wednesday that the use of chemical weapons is ‘not acceptable’, but working for peace should prevail in all responses to crimes.

“Over and above the response to crimes [in Syria], we need to work for peace,” Paolo Gentiloni was quoted as saying by the Italian news agency ANSA about a suspected chemical attack in the city of Douma in the Eastern Ghouta suburb of Damascus on April 8 that killed dozens of people.

Forces of the Bashar al-Assad regime struck targets in Douma using a toxic gas which left at least 78 civilians dead, according to the Syrian Civil Defense, also known as the White Helmets.

On Feb. 24, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution which called for a month-long ceasefire in Syria — especially in Eastern Ghouta — to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid.

Despite the resolution, the Assad regime last month launched a major ground offensive backed by Russia aimed at capturing Eastern Ghouta’s last opposition strongholds.

Last month, a UN commission of inquiry released a report accusing the regime of committing war crimes in Eastern Ghouta, including the use of chemical weapons against civilians.

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