Security Council in emergency meeting on Syria airstrikes


The United Nations Security Council rejected a resolution Saturday from Russian Federation 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".

But the vote at the end of an emergency meeting called by Russian Federation also demonstrated again the paralysis of the UN's most powerful body in dealing with Syria's seven-year conflict.

China and Bolivia voted in favor of the resolution, while the U.S., U.K., France, Sweden, Poland, Ivory Coast, Kuwait and the Netherlands opposed it. Four countries abstained - Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Equatorial Guinea and Peru.

The Security Council convened an emergency meeting at the request of Russian Federation, which condemned US-led airstrikes on Syria overnight.

The US, Britain, and France say they launched airstrikes against Syrian chemical sites after obtaining "proof" that poisonous gas was used last weekend in Douma and in which at least 40 people, including children, were killed.

They acknowledged that the strike was created to degrade Syria's chemical weapons capability without killing civilians or the many foreign fighters in Syria's multi-sided civil war, particularly those from Russian Federation.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley countered this claims, telling the council "there is clear information demonstrating Assad's culpability".

In a televised address from the White House, Trump said: "A short time ago, I ordered the United States Armed Forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapons capabilities of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad". "When our President draws a red line, our President enforces the red line." she said.

"Russia's veto was the green light for the Assad regime to use these most barbaric weapons against the Syrian people, in complete violation of global law", she said.

A Russian-drafted resolution won 3 votes at the Security Council, far below the 9 votes required for adoption.

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Air strikes by the allies on Saturday hit three targets that Western officials said were linked to chemical weapons development in the Damascus and Homs areas.

After the vote, Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said the meeting confirmed that the US and its allies "continue to put worldwide politics and diplomacy in the realm of myth-making - myths invented in London, Paris and Washington".

"We support the fact that our American, British and French allies have taken responsibility in this way as permanent members of the UN Security Council", she said.

"Again, we are being threatened", Antonov continued.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has condemned the airstrikes as "an act of aggression", the country's representative informed the Council.

"In the face of this attack on the principles and values and the laws underpinning the action of the United Nations, the silence was no longer a solution".

Russia's Nebenzia called it "a very sad day for the world, for the United Nations, for its Charter which was blatantly, blatantly violated, and for the Security Council which has shirked its responsibilities".

Anatoly Antonov, Russia's ambassador to the United States, said in a statement Friday that "the worst apprehensions have come true".

Looking ahead, Delattre said France, Britain and the United States will soon be presenting the Security Council with a new draft resolution aimed at achieving a lasting solution to the Syrian conflict that addresses political, chemical and humanitarian issues. "The US - the possessor of the biggest arsenal of chemical weapons - has no moral right to blame other countries".

French President Emmanuel Macron said France had joined the United States and Britain in an ongoing operation of strikes to target Syria's chemical weapons facilities.