The UN Security Council overwhelmingly rejected a Russian resolution calling for condemnation of “aggression” by the United States, United Kingdom and France against Syria, a vote reflecting support for the allied air strikes on Syrian chemical sites.
- Russia’s demand for condemnation and an immediate halt to “aggression” and “any further use of force” by the three Western allies got support from only two other countries on the 15-member Security Council — China and Bolivia.
- By contrast, eight countries voted against the Russian draft — the US, UK, France, Netherlands, Sweden, Kuwait, Poland and Ivory Coast. Four countries abstained — Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Equatorial Guinea and Peru.
- At the meeting, the fifth in a week on chemical weapons in Syria, Russia and its supporters again clashed with the US and its allies over a suspected poison gas attack on April 7 in the Damascus suburb of Douma.
- The US, UK and France said they launched air strikes against Syrian chemical sites after obtaining evidence that a chemical weapon was used by President Bashar Assad’s government. Russia and its ally Syria called the attack fabricated and said no evidence of chemical weapons use exists in Douma.
- A draft resolution circulated by the three countries and obtained by The Associated Press would condemn all use of chemical weapons, especially the April 7 attack in Douma.
- It seeks answers from Syria on gaps in its chemical weapons declaration to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. And it would establish a new body to determine responsibility for chemical attacks, call for a cease-fire in Syria, unimpeded access for all humanitarian aid, and an urgent resumption of negotiations on a political settlement.