Security Council deadlocks again on Syria chemical attacks

United States ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley addresses the United Nations Security Council meeting on Syria at the UN headquarters in New York US on 9 April

Russian Federation and the United States tangled on Tuesday at the United Nations over the use of chemical weapons in Syria as Washington and its allies considered whether to strike at president Bashar al-Assad's forces over a suspected poison gas attack last weekend.

The United Nations warned world powers against letting the crisis over an alleged chemical attack against civilians in Syria from "spiraling out of control" after US President Donald Trump said "missiles will be coming".

"I call on the members of the Security Council to unite and exercise that responsibility", Guterres said.

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

USA 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 United States, in turn, brought to UN Security Council vote the draft resolution to establish a new mechanism of investigation of chemical attacks in Syria.

Another Russian proposal, expressing support for the work of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission and condemning any use of chemical weapons in Syria, was also rejected by UNSC.

United Nations officials, though, said they could not immediately confirm the attack and deferred to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

The resolution would have initiated a year-long investigation by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to determine whether Bashar al-Assad's regime was responsible for the suspected chemical weapons attack in Douma last week that killed dozens of people and left many others in excruciating pain.

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While Haley focused on themes of Russian obstructionism and American resolve to strike as needed, the British and French ambassadors emphasized an interest in pursuing talks to ease tensions.

"The intelligence provided certainly paints a different picture", Sanders said.

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

Russia vetoed the U.S. resolution, while the Russian draft resolution did not garner the needed ten votes, receiving just six.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who delayed a trip to Saudi Arabia to deal with the Syria crisis, said he had asked special envoy Staffan de Mistura to return to NY as soon as possible to chart a way forward.

He claimed back then that the air field had been the origin of a suspected sarin gas attack on the town of Khan Shaykhun in Syria's Idlib Province on April 4, 2017. And we have to know that we're taking every precaution necessary, should we take action.

"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".

"By its actions, the USA is increasingly aggravating the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria, bringing sufferings to civilians and actually conniving at terrorists who have been tormenting the Syrian people for seven years and provoking a new wave of refugees from that country and the region as a whole", it said. Syria signed the Chemical Weapons Convention, agreeing to remove its chemical weapons.

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