Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Russian Federation vetoes Syria chemical weapons probe

Russian Federation vetoes Syria chemical weapons probe

Russian Federation on Tuesday vetoed a US-drafted Security Council resolution on an investigation mechanism for chemical weapons use in Syria.

The Security Council will not be voting on the American resolution Monday.

Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia accused the United States of "planting this resolution" as a "pretext" to justify its future action on Syria.

Global chemical weapons experts will go Douma to investigate the suspected poison gas attack, their organization said Tuesday, as the United States and other Western powers consider military action over the incident.

A draft of the resolution obtained by ABC News "condemns in the strongest terms the continued use of chemical weapons" in Syria - although it does not blame the Assad regime for the attack, instead establishing a United Nations. The Russian draft would have required investigators to report to the Security Council, which could then attribute responsibility.

If the USA action follows the pattern of a previous punitive strike on Syria past year, it will begin with a salvo of cruise missiles fired from American warships in the Mediterranean, as Trump implied when he tweeted they would be "nice, new and "smart".

The meeting was expected to go over military options and see Mr Trump make a decision on the type of response to the reported chemical weapons attack last Saturday in Douma.

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

Meanwhile, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres urged countries to "find unity" on the issue as the diplomatic tensions continue to rise.

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"The immediate priority is to avert the danger of war", Nebenzia said. The planes fired Storm Shadow missiles at a facility where the United Kingdom said the Assad "regime is assessed to keep chemical weapon precursors stockpiled". "Unfortunately, chemical weapons use to injure and kill innocent Syrian civilians has become all too common".

USA intelligence is still assessing whether or not chemical weapons were used, a US official said, but President Donald Trump has blamed "President Putin, Russia and Iran... for backing Animal Assad" in a tweet Sunday.

This is now the 12th occasion that Russian Federation has vetoed action on Syria at the Security Council, which it has the right to do as one of the council's five permanent members.

Nebenzia also said that the Western powers should not have acted until a chemical-weapons inspection team, which arrived in Syria on Saturday, had been given a chance to do its work. Syria signed the Chemical Weapons Convention, agreeing to remove its chemical weapons.

In September 2014, the United States defended the start of its military action against Islamic State militants in Syria under Article 51.

The OPCW said it would "shortly" deploy a fact-finding team to Douma for an investigation, but United States officials said they were working from their own information and would not necessarily hold back.

French President Emmanuel Macron said France contributed to the USA -led Syrian attacks because the "red line declared by France in May 2017 has been crossed".

"I spoke to the president [Donald Trump] this morning and he said: If the Syrian regime uses this poisonous gas again, the United States is locked and loaded", Haley said.

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