Australia urges Russia, Iran to act sensibly in Syria

By Ayhan Simsek

BERLIN (AA) – Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull urged Russia and Iran on Monday to act responsibly and contribute to political efforts to end the Syrian civil war.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, Turnbull stressed that Australian and German governments were in agreement on the need for a political solution in Syria.

“This requires the states involved to act responsibly,” he said.

“Russia and Iran must do more to bring to an end the horrific attacks by the Assad regime often on innocent civilians,” he added.

Turnbull accused the regime for using chemical weapons against its own people, most recently in Douma, Eastern Ghouta.

The Bashar al-Assad regime forces struck targets in the Damascus suburb earlier this month, allegedly using poisonous gas which left at least 78 civilians dead, according to the White Helmets, a local civil defense agency.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict, according to the UN.