The United Nations Security Council is facing a “moment of truth,” UN Secretary General António Guterres said Wednesday ahead of the panel’s emergency meeting on the suspected chemical attack in Syria that left dozens of civilians dead. En route to an international conference in Brussels on rebuilding Syria, Guterres told The Wall Street Journal that “the horrific events of yesterday demonstrate that unfortunately, war crimes are going on,” adding there must be a “very clear investigation to remove all doubts and we need to have accountability based on the results of that investigation.” The meeting was called by France and the U.K., as world leaders condemned the attack in Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province, with many blaming the Syrian government. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring group, raised the death toll Wednesday to at least 72, among them 20 children and 17 women. Matthew Rycroft, Britain’s ambassador to the UN, denounced the attack as a “war crime” and described it as “very bad news for peace in Syria.” “I call on the Security Council members who have previously used their vetoes to defend the indefensible to change their course,” Rycroft said, apparently in reference to Russia, Syria’s main ally on the council.
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