UN Security Council has rejected Russia-sponsored resolution seeking condemnation of joint military air strikes launched by the United States, Britain and France on Syria in retaliation for an alleged chemical weapon attack.
The vote reflected the deep divisions in the UN's most powerful body, which has been paralysed in dealing with the seven-year Syrian conflict and chemical weapons use in the country.
The Russia-drafted resolution won three votes at the Security Council, far below the nine votes required for adoption. By contrast, eight countries voted against the Russian draft - the US, UK, France, Netherlands, Sweden, Kuwait, Poland and Ivory Coast. Four countries abstained - Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Equatorial Guinea and Peru.
U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley told the council "there is clear information demonstrating Assad's culpability".
Russia's UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told the UN meeting in NY that the USA and its allies struck without waiting for an investigation by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, branding the attack "hooliganism".
Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg tweeted a message of support and said those who use chemical weapons "must be held accountable".
While reiterating that China is in favour of peaceful dispute settlements Zhaoxu said: "Unilaterally taking military action by circumventing the Security Council is inconsistent with the principles and purposes of the UN Charter and runs counter to the norms of worldwide law and those governing global relations."He further said that China stands for peace and security in the Middle East and the world at large".
"I spoke to the President [Donald Trump] this morning and he said if the Syrian regime uses this poison gas again, the United States is locked and loaded".
"When our president draws a red line, our president enforces the red line", Haley stressed.
Earlier on Saturday, Macron gave the green light to the French military to join the United States and Britain in an operation targeting "clandestine chemical arsenal" in Syria.
It seeks answers from Syria on gaps in its chemical weapons declaration to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
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