“Horrific”, “appalling”, and “reprehensible”. If responsible for what looks like a chemical attack in Douma, the Assad regime “must be held to account”.
As Theresa May’s words echo across the airwaves, weary diplomats haul themselves to the United Nations Security Council chamber.
They all know that the paralysed organisation, frozen in place by Russia’s veto power, will again fail to protect the most vulnerable in their most desperate hours.
:: Chemical attacks in Syria: A deadly history
Rival resolution texts on chemical weapons have been circulating the corridors of the UN for weeks.
No-one can agree on a final wording.
A new condemnation of weapons intended to indiscriminately kill in violation of international norms is apparently beyond the one group whose sole purpose is to preserve global peace and security.
:: ‘Hell on earth’: What’s happening in Syria?
So today you can expect impassioned speeches, high emotion, possibly the use of photos of dead and dying children, brandished as props.
Russia and Syria will sit stony-faced.
There will be denial, irritation, injured expressions.
If it even gets to a vote, unless there is some seismic change of attitude in Moscow, Russia will veto.
It will argue that there is no evidence of a chemical attack in the first place, let alone who did it.