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US, Russia fight at United Nations over Syria chemical weapons attacks

16 April 2018

Other countries, including Britain and France, are also likely to support US military action in which the principal aim will be disabling the regime's chemical weapons.

Three draft resolutions on investigating the alleged chemical attack in Syria failed to pass at the United Nations Security Council.

There was such a body, called the Joint Investigative Mechanism, or JIM, that reported last fall that Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad's forces were responsible for a sarin gas attack in April 2017 that killed approximately 100 civilians and led to USA airstrikes on a Syrian military base.

Nebenzia warned the United States and its allies against taking any military action in Syria, as it might lead to grave consequences for the whole world, especially given the fact that Russian troops are deployed to the country.

The United States, Britain and France launched air strikes in response to a suspected chemical attack in the rebel-held town of Douma a week ago that killed at least 40 people.

Ambassador Vasily Nebenzia argued that the attack was staged and said Russian specialists who went to the area took soil samples, "which showed the lack of nerve agent and chlorine-containing substances".

"Today, I called the ambassadors of the five permanent members of the Security Council to reiterate my deep concern about the risks of the current impasse and stressed the need to avoid the situation spiraling out of control", he said, referring to the United States, Russia, China, France and Britain.

The measure would provide for the creation of an inquiry to identify perpetrators of chemical weapons attacks, allow access for aid convoys and re-launch stalled peace talks in Geneva, French diplomats said.

Russian Federation and Syria have said there was no evidence of a chemical weapons attack.

The meeting Russian Federation is proposing is meant to address the possibility of potential USA military action in response to the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Bashar al-Assad regime.

If the United Nations didn't act, Haley said, the US would act on its own.

"Syria is keen on cooperating with the OPCW to uncover the truth behind the allegations that some Western sides have been advertising to justify their aggressive intentions", Syria's state news agency SANA said. The latter attack led to a United States airstrike on a Syrian airfield.

"Any use of chemical weapons is abhorrent".

Russian Federation tabled a second draft resolution for vote on Tuesday for an investigation by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the watchdog of the Chemical Weapons Convention, into the chemical attack allegations.

"It's time for Washington to learn that the global code of behavior regarding the use of force is regulated by the United Nations Charter", Nebenzia said.

The State Department says it doesn't know what chemical was used, but says it is confident Syria was responsible.

Trump said that he would make a decision about how to respond within a few days, adding that the United States had "a lot of options militarily" on Syria. Any plan by Washington and its allies to take military action was likely to be on hold until then, the source said.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May said the attack was "not about intervening in a civil war".

Macron said the attack was "limited to the Syrian regime's facilities enabling the production and employment of chemical weapons".

Delattre, the French ambassador, added that the destruction of Syria's chemical program has to happen in a "verifiable and irreversible" way.

US, Russia fight at United Nations over Syria chemical weapons attacks