Turkey urges ‘strong punishment’ for perpetrators of Douma attack

Turkey urges ‘strong punishment’ for perpetrators of Douma attack

Turkey urges ‘strong punishment’ for perpetrators of Douma attack

The recent chemical attack in Syria’s Douma “should be punished” in order to avoid any repeat, Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hami Aksoy has said.

“There is strong suspicion that the attack in Douma on April 7 was carried out by the regime. Chemical weapon attacks constitute crimes against humanity. These kinds of crimes should not remain unpunished,” Aksoy told reporters at a press conference on April 12.

Referring a draft resolution in the U.N. Security Council demanding an investigation into the suspected chemical attack, which was vetoed by Russia, Aksoy said it was “a very important opportunity missed in the direction of investigating whether a chemical weapons attack happened.”

He also said Turkey was among the sponsors of the draft resolution.

Asked if Turkey will lend support to its military operation if the U.S. attacks Syrian regime targets, Aksoy did not commit anything. “Let’s see what the developments show us. We continue to follow the process closely,” he said.

Responding to a question regarding the possible use of the İncirlik air base in Turkey for a possible U.S. attack on Syria, Aksoy simply said “chemical weapons attacks should not occur” and declined to comment further.

He also referred to the phone conversation between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and U.S. President Donald Trump late on April 11.

The Damascus suburb of Douma was on April 7 hit by a suspected chemical attack, which left at least 78 civilians dead, according to the White Helmets volunteer aid organization.