Russian Federation seeks Security Council emergency meeting after US-led strike on Syria

Sergio Conner
April 15, 2018

He said the United States and its allies didn't need a resolution to determine responsibility because it was already blaming Syria and Russian Federation.

Russia's demand for condemnation and an immediate halt to "aggression" and "any further use of force" by the U.S., Britain and France got support from only two other countries on the 15-member council China and Bolivia.

Moscow opposes any Western strike on its close ally Assad and has vetoed Security Council action on Syria 12 times since the conflict started. The Security Council voted down a rival Russian resolution moments later.

The meeting was called by the Russian ambassador to the U.N., Vassily Nebenzia.

The White House said that, in a telephone call, Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May "agreed not to allow the use of chemical weapons to continue".

Damascus agreed to hand over its chemical arsenal in 2013, narrowly avoiding American and French air strikes in retaliation for a suspected sarin attack.

Some diplomats said there were several arguments to justify bombing Syria over the suspected chemical weapons attack.

It was not immediately clear whether the announcement by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) would delay or prevent a USA strike in Syria.

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.

"Russia is holding the Syrian people to political ransom by supporting a regime responsible for at least four heinous chemical attacks against its people".

Russian Federation seeks Security Council emergency meeting after US-led strike on Syria

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday that any strikes would not target the Syrian government's allies or anybody in particular, but would be aimed at the Syrian government's chemical facilities.

Final yr, america launched strikes from two Navy destroyers towards a Syrian air base.

However, inspectors with the global chemical weapons watchdog will travel to Douma to investigate reports of a chemical attack.

Iran is one of Assad's strongest backers and has sent thousands of troops and allied militiamen to support his forces.

The vote reflected support for the airstrikes on Syrian chemical sites but also again demonstrated the paralysis of the U.N.'s most powerful body in dealing with the seven-year-long Syrian conflict. The UN Secretariat has been asked to brief the council. The group is the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1997, which has been signed by 192 member states.

Similarly, a competing draft - penned by Russian Federation - which would have established the mechanism for one year as well but would have given the Security Council the responsibility to assign accountability for the use of chemical weapons in Syria, was also not adopted. Trump had on Monday warned of a quick, forceful response once responsibility for the Syria attack was established.

According to rescue workers, on Saturday more than 40 people died in the rebel-held Damascus suburb of Douma in an alleged chemical attack, which left victims struggling to breathe, foaming at the mouth and with discolored skin.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Tuesday he was outraged by the reported attack, and that the use of chemical weapons would be a violation of worldwide law.

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres said Tuesday the OPCW should be granted unfettered access to investigate.

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Rear Admiral Chris Parry said the co-ordinated airstrikes was the "minimum necessary to get the regime's attention". Despite sustained diplomatic efforts, the Syrian regime continues to use chemical weapons against its own people.

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