Russia Vetoes Security Council Resolution on Chemical Weapons in Syria

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During the Security Council meeting, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley expressed Washington's preparedness to launch more military strikes on Syria if Washington learns that the Syrian government carries out a chemical weapons attack.

Russian Federation has vetoed a US-drafted United Nations resolution that would have condemned last weekend's suspected gas attack near Damascus and established a new body to determine responsibility for Syrian chemical weapons attacks.

Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia quoted President Vladimir Putin and said that in conducting the strikes, the US, United Kingdom and France had acted "without a mandate from the UN Security Council and in violation of the UN charter and the norms of worldwide law".

President Trump has threatened for days to strike Syria over an alleged gas attack in that country.

"The allies of the regime bear a particular responsibility in this massacre", he said of alleged use of toxic gas against the rebel-held enclave of Douma on Saturday, which first responders said killed more than 40 people.

Twelve of the 15 members of the UN Security Council voted in favour of the USA text, while Russian Federation and Bolivia voted against it, reports Xinhua.

The council was to vote on two other draft resolutions proposed by Russian Federation, one that would set up an inquiry and the second that would express support for an investigation by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

The Assad government and Russian Federation both urged the OPCW to investigate the allegations of chemical weapons use in Douma, a move by the two countries that was apparently aimed at averting any US-led action.

It was not immediately clear whether the announcement by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons would delay or prevent a US strike in Syria.

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The Russian permanent representative to the United Nations called the latest attack "fake news" during Monday's Security Council session and slammed the USA, U.K., and France for their "slander, insults, hawkish rhetoric, blackmail, sanctions, and threats to use force against a sovereign state".

"The pictures of dead children were not fake news", Haley said".

KELEMEN: Russia had been saying there were no signs of chemical weapons' use in Duma last weekend.

The resolution needed at least nine yes votes in the 15-member council for approval but only six countries voted in favour.

"The United Kingdom believes that it was both right and legal to take military action together with our closest allies to alleviate further humanitarian suffering", British Ambassador Karen Pierce said.

Nebenzia accused the United States of pushing for a vote as a pretext for possible use of force against Syria.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is anxious about the diplomatic impasse over how to respond to chemical weapons' use. May "on the need to take action and deter the further use of chemical weapons".

"By its actions, the U.S. is increasingly aggravating the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria, bringing sufferings to civilians and actually conniving at terrorists who have been tormenting the Syrian people for seven years and provoking a new wave of refugees from that country and the region as a whole", it said.

On Monday, the Republican leader promised that the "heinous attack on innocent Syrians with banned chemical weapons" would be "met forcefully".