APTOPIX UN Syria Russia

Elias Hubbard
April 15, 2018

Days after alleged chemical weapons attack in the Damascus suburb of Douma, the United Nations Security Council failed to adopt two competing resolutions that would have established a mechanism to investigate use of such weapons in Syria, as well as another concerning a fact-finding mission in the war-torn country. Egypt, New Zealand and Spain presented the measure.

The council voted two more times on draft texts put forward by Russian Federation, but both measures failed to garner the 9 votes required for adoption, laying bare divisions at the top United Nations body over Syria. Trump on Monday warned of a quick, forceful response once responsibility for the attack was established.

Sweden's ambassador, Olof Skoog, who tried unsuccessfully to find a compromise solution, told the council after the third vote that he was disappointed.

Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said Washington's decision to put forward its resolution could be a prelude to a Western strike on Syria. It vetoed UNSC action on Syria on twelve previous occasions.

Russian Federation and the United States tangled on Tuesday (10 April) at the UN Security Council over Syria as they blocked attempts by each other to set up worldwide investigations into chemical weapons attacks in the war-ravaged country, write Michelle Nichols and Ellen Francis.

It received six votes, seven voted against it and two abstained. Haley said the draft resolution was not impartial or independent since it would allow Russian Federation to veto investigators and staff for the new body - and to block its findings.

European governments said they will wait for the results of the OPCW investigation and for more solid forensic evidence before taking the next step on the matter.

"The team is preparing to deploy to Syria shortly", it said in a statement.

"You do not want to hear the fact that no traces of a chemical attack were found in Douma", Nebenzia said.

He accused the U.S. of introducing the resolution knowing it would not pass so they could use it as a pretext to attack Syria. The latter attack led to a US airstrike on a Syrian airfield. The US says 89 people were killed and several hundred injured by chemical weapons used there.

Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States are permanent Security Council members with veto powers.

Nebenzia said two groups of OPCW experts could be on the ground "as early as this week".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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