UN Security Council meets on Syria strikes

Erika Holt
April 16, 2018

Worldwide chemical weapons experts will go Douma to investigate the suspected poison gas attack, their organization said Tuesday, as the United States and other Western powers consider military action over the incident.

Bolivia has asked for the United Nations Security Council to meet on Thursday "on the escalation of rhetoric regarding Syria and these threats of unilateral military action", hours after US President Donald Trump warned of missile attacks.

Russian Federation went to the United Nations Security Council today to warn the US away from conducting airstrikes in Syria. "I appeal to the Security Council to fulfill its responsibility and find unity on this issue", he said.

Trump warned Russian Federation on Wednesday of imminent military action in Syria over a suspected deadly poison gas attack, declaring that missiles "will be coming" and lambasting Moscow for standing by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

An alleged chemical attack outside of Damascus Saturday night killed dozens of people and injured hundreds of others.

U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the Security Council that adopting the US-drafted resolution was the least that member nations could do.

The council was to vote on two other draft resolutions proposed by Russian Federation, one that would set up an inquiry and the second that would express support for an investigation by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

USA intelligence is still assessing whether or not chemical weapons were used, a US official said, but President Donald Trump has blamed "President Putin, Russia and Iran... for backing Animal Assad" in a tweet Sunday. A team of United Nations experts left their Damascus hotel for a third day of on-site investigations into apparent chemical weapons attacks on the outskirts of the capital.

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

"And we also know that they have nothing but scorn for worldwide law, but we have this (hold up UN Charter)", Soliz said.

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The U.N. body was briefed by the Deputy to the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Thomas Markram and the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria Staffan de Mistura ahead of the open hearing.

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

Russian UN ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said Washington's decision to put forward its resolution could be a prelude to a Western strike on Syria.

"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".

"The United Kingdom, France, and the United States acted, not as revenge, not as punishment, not as a symbolic show of force", she said. He added in a statement, "We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences".

"An aggression of a sovereign state was carried out, which is on the front line of the fight against terrorism", Nebenzia said.

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

Sullivan and Johnson agreed that "this attack bore hallmarks of previous chemical weapons attacks by the Assad regime", according to a British Foreign Office spokesperson.

Last year, the United States launched strikes from two Navy destroyers against a Syrian air base. It is now operating off Lebanon alongside USA ships as part of France's military contingent fighting Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq.

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