Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Russian Federation vetoes Syria chemical weapons probe

Russian Federation vetoes Syria chemical weapons probe

Addressing told the council, Haley said the United States was confident that the military strikes had crippled Syria's chemical weapons program.

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis said Thursday that President Donald Trump has yet to decide on whether he will pursue military action in Syria.

Russian Federation went to the United Nations Security Council today to warn the USA away from conducting airstrikes in Syria.

Before the vote, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said her delegation had tried hard to incorporate the Russian proposals into the draft so long as they did not compromise the impartiality of the investigation.

Russian Federation and Syria call the attack fabricated.

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.

Twelve council members voted in favour of the US-drafted resolution, while Bolivia joined Russian Federation in voting no and China abstained.

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.

The Federal Aviation Administration has prohibited US airlines or foreign airlines flying with a USA certificate from flying over Syria since at least 2014 because of anti-aircraft weapons controlled by non-state actors, threats made by extremist groups and ongoing military fighting.

British ambassador Karen Pierce said the United Kingdom opposed the resolution because an OPCW investigative team is already headed to Syria and the Russian text did not include a new body to determine accountability for chemical weapons attacks.

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

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

Last year, the United States launched strikes from two Navy destroyers against a Syrian air base.

Before the vote, Russian ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia accused the U.S. of pushing for a vote as a pretext for possible use of force against Syria.

A veto can only be cast if a draft wins at least nine votes.

European airspace authorities are warning aircraft to be careful over the next days when flying close to Syria because of possible military action against President Bashar Assad's forces.

Lavrentiev reportedly held extensive discussions on the situation in Syria with Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran's Supreme Council on National Security, and other officials.

"While Russia was busy protecting the regime, Assad took notice", she said.

"Not a single resident was able to confirm a chemical attack took place", he argued, saying that the US, UK and France hadn't bothered to wait for an investigation and instead had rushed to judgment "in a sign of cynical disdain a group of western countries". And we have to know that we're taking every precaution necessary, should we take action. It is now operating off Lebanon alongside USA ships as part of France's military contingent fighting Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq. The inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons will try to determine whether chemical weapons had been used in the Douma attack.

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