Russia vetoed a US-drafted resolution Tuesday condemning a suspected Syrian regime's poison gas attack on a suburb of Damascus.
The vote in the 15-member UN Security Council fell to 12 votes, Russia and Bolivia against and China abstained. It was the twelfth time that Russia vetoed a resolution on Syria and the sixth veto of chemical weapons.
The resolution would also have created a new body to determine responsibility for chemical weapons attacks during the ongoing civil war. The Security Council voted shortly thereafter with a rival Russian resolution.
U.S. US Ambassador Nikki Haley said that the US "went the extra mile" to get Russian support for the resolution to ensure that the proposed commission of inquiry is impartial, independent and professional. In contrast, Haley said the Russian resolution would allow Moscow to condemn the investigators and staff for the new body ̵
Russia's UN Ambassador Wassily Nebenzia accused the United States that the resolution should fail to use force against Syria. He added that the resolution was trying to recreate the old expert organization whose expansion Moscow blocked in November, calling it "a puppet in the hands of anti-Damascus forces."
Earlier On Tuesday, the International Chemical Weapons Watchdog said it was sending an exploratory mission to the city of Douma, where the suspected chemical weapons attack took place. The motion was made by the Syrian government and its Russian lenders, which aimed to stop military punishment.
Es It was not immediately clear whether the announcement of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) would be delayed or prevent a US strike in Syria President Donald Trump has vowed to "violently" respond to Saturday's attack and warned that Russia – or any other nation that shares responsibility – "will pay a price."
The incident sparked international outcry and heightened tensions in the already volatile Middle East, which stirs up the specter of possible American retribution in the midst of Russia's warnings about such actions and denies that a chemical weapons attack has taken place.
Added to this is Iran, a strong ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad. On Monday, the Syrian government, Russia and Iran threatened Iran with responsibility for an air strike on a Syrian military base.
Seven Iranians were among the estimated 14 people killed in the rocket attack, and a high-ranking Iranian official in Damascus said the attack "will not go unanswered." Ali Akbar Velayati, an advisor to the Iranian Supreme Leader, spoke on Tuesday when he arrived in the Syrian capital.
The Syrian Air Force Base was hit just over 24 hours after the alleged chemical attack of missiles. Israel usually does not comment on its operations in Syria, and it is unclear whether the rocket attack was linked to the alleged use of chemical weapons.
Iran is one of Assad's strongest supporters and has sent thousands of soldiers and militia to support
Since the beginning of the conflict in Syria, chemical weapons attacks have killed hundreds of people, with the UN four attacks on the Syrian government and a fifth to the group of the Islamic State (ISIS). In its statement, the Technical Secretariat said that the Syrian Government had made the necessary arrangements for sending an exploratory mission. The group is the executive body for the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention, signed by 192 Member States.
Syria became a member in 2013 under an agreement that mediated the US and Russia after a chemical attack in eastern Ghouta killed hundreds of people. This attack was widely blamed on the government forces denying responsibility.
Syrian opposition activists and paramedics said more than 40 people had been killed in the alleged chemical attack last weekend and had accused the government. The Syrian government and its Russian supporters deny the allegations and doubt that even a chemical weapons attack has taken place.
U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on Tuesday he was outraged by the reported attack and the use of chemical weapons would be a violation of international law. He also reiterated his support for an OVCW investigation.
Fox News & # 39; Ben Evansky and The Associated Press contributed to this report.