UN Finds No Way Over Syria Attack Probe After Rival Resolutions

United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley addresses the United Nations Security Cou

US, Russia trade angry charges at UN over suspected poison gas attack in Syria

The 15-member council failed on Tuesday to approve three draft resolutions on chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

The US-drafted United Nations resolution would have established a new body to determine whether Syria was responsible for a suspected chemical attack in Douma last week which killed 70 people.

Yesterday's meeting marked the 12th time Russian Federation has used its veto to block Council action on Syria.

"If you took the decision to carry out an illegal military adventure, and we do hope that you will come to your senses, well then you will have to bear responsibility for it", he said.

U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said before the vote that her delegation had tried hard to incorporate Russian proposals in the draft that would not compromise the impartiality of investigation.

While the United States and 11 other countries backed the resolution, Russian Federation vetoed it at a meeting of the 15-member council. Haley said the draft resolution was not impartial or independent since it would allow Russian Federation to veto investigators and staff for the new body - and to block its findings.

"History will record that, on this day, Russian Federation chose protecting a monster over the lives of the Syrian people".

However, inspectors with the global chemical weapons watchdog will travel to Douma to investigate reports of a chemical attack. The draft received 12 votes in favour, two against (Bolivia and Russia) and one abstention (China).

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

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Ahead of the vote, US Ambassador Nikki Haley said "this resolution is the bare minimum that the council can do to respond to the attack" on Saturday.

The US proposal would have revived the work of a previous panel, known as the Joint Investigative Mechanism, that shut down in November when Russian vetoed the renewal of its mandate.

Nebenzia and Syrian Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari said that despite the council's failure to welcome the OPCW fact-finding mission, its investigators are heading to Syria with support from both Russian Federation and Syria.

Both Trump and his defense secretary Jim Mattis abruptly canceled upcoming travel plans, as the USS Donald Cook - a guided-missile destroyer - moved to within striking range of Syria.

That panel had found that the Syrian regime had dropped sarin on the village of Khan Sheikhun in April of a year ago.

Alternatively, a Syria strike could also be justified as action to stop the use or spread of weapons of mass destruction taken because the UN Security Council has been unable to act.

May said on Wednesday that Britain is working with close allies "on how we can ensure that those who are responsible are held to account and how we can prevent and deter the humanitarian catastrophe that comes from the use of chemical weapons in the future".

"They're the gold standard in collecting this type of information (about chemical weapons use), and we would certainly rely upon them, as we have in other instances, to take a look at that", she said.

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