Monday, 16 July, 2018

Russia UN envoy says USA wants to oust Syrian govt, contain Russia

Russia's President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during an awarding ceremony at the Kremlin in Moscow Russia Russia's President Putin delivers a speech during an awarding ceremony in Moscow Thomson Reuters
Ebony Burgess | 14 April, 2018, 22:18

The UN Security Council has rejected a resolution tabled by Russian Federation calling for condemnation of the "aggression" by the United States and its allies against Syria.

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

A fact-finding mission from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is expected to head to Douma, the site of the suspected attack.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has been urging caution in meetings, trying to avoid a strike that would trigger a broader conflict, two U.S. officials said.

The vote reflected the deep divisions in the UN's most powerful body, which has been paralysed in dealing with the seven-year Syrian conflict and chemical weapons use in the country. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned Western intervention in Syria would "lead to new waves of migrants to Europe".

US security officials immediately called for worldwide action to intervene in the situation after the chemical attack Saturday, and President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: I'd only rejoin Pacific trade pact if deal was "substantially better" GOP unveils mock cover of Comey book with "ego" attack NY Daily News cover hits Trump over Comey book revelations MORE has threatened a possible military strike against the government forces.

She added: "It's some of the worst piece of fake news we've yet seen from the Russian Federation propaganda machine".

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Russian officials had said before the alleged attack in Douma that the rebels in Damascus suburbs were plotting chemical attacks to blame the Syrian government and set the stage for the USA strike.

Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia (L) and Bolivia's Ambassador to the United Nations Sacha Sergio Llorenty Soliz speak to the media outside Security Council chambers at the U.N. headquarters in NY, U.S., April 12, 2018.

He met his national security team later in the day and "no final decision has been made", the White House said in a statement. The government's capture of Douma, the last town held by the rebels in eastern Ghouta, marked a major victory for Assad.

Any U.S. strike would probably involve the Navy.

"The United States of America will not allow the Assad regime to continue using chemical weapons".

The Russian defence ministry said today that none of the Western strikes in Syria had hit areas covered by Russia's air defences around its air base and naval facility.

In April previous year Trump ordered Tomahawk strikes on the Shayrat Airbase in response to a similar chemical weapons attack on rebel-held Khan Sheikhoun.

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