Syria chemical attack: China calls on UNSC to launch probe

Leslie Hanson
April 16, 2018

The United Nations Security Council failed to adopted a Russian-drafted resolution on Saturday that would have condemned "the aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic by the USA and its allies in violation of global law and the UN Charter".

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.

Only Russia, China and Bolivia voted in favor of the draft resolution.

Coordinated American, French and British airstrikes were launched late Friday to punish Syrian President Bashar Assad for the suspected use of chemical weapons on his own people earlier this month in Douma, a rebel-held suburb of Damascus, and to deter him from further use of chemical weapons.

Peru, Kazakhstan, Ethiopia and Equatorial Guinea abstained.

The strikes came after the Assad regime was accused of carrying out a chemical attack in Syria's Douma, which killed 78 civilians and injured hundreds of others. US Ambassador Nikki Haley told the council "there is clear information demonstrating Assad's culpability".

"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". A resolution needs nine votes in favor and no vetoes by Russia, China, France, Britain or the United States to pass.

Russia's UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told the UN meeting in NY that the U.S. and its allies struck without waiting for an investigation by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, branding the attack "hooliganism".

The Syrian government has denied the allegation and called the reports fake news used by the West to justify its attacks on Syria.

Russian Federation has warned that any military action against Syria would be in violation of worldwide law as it was carried out without UN Security Council approval. Britain's UN Ambassador Karen Pierce blamed Russian Federation for repeatedly vetoing resolutions on the use of chemical weapons in Syria and said the United Kingdom took military action "to save lives", on the legal basis of "humanitarian intervention".

It seeks answers from Syria on gaps in its chemical weapons declaration to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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