Russia vetoes UN draft on Syria for 12th time

Russia vetoes UN draft on Syria for 12th time
3 min read
11 April, 2018
Russia has used its veto power twelve times to prevent UN passing draft resolution against its ally Syria, while the US vetoed a Moscow-sponsored one on Damascus' chemical attack.
Both Russia and the US have vetoed the others resolution [Getty]
Russia and the US locked horns at a UN Security Council meeting on Tuesday, after both parties vetoed the others draft.

A US-drafted resolution called for an investigation into the chemical weapon use in Syria following a poison gas attack in the besieged opposition enclave of Douma in Eastern Ghouta.

Russia however, vetoed the resolution, the 12th such time Moscow has used its veto power at the council to block action targeting its Syrian ally.

The US and the UN security council were quick to reject the Russian alternative proposed on investigating chemical weapons use in Syria after the Russian veto.

At least 49 people died after Saturday's suspected chemical attack in Eastern Ghouta according to medical groups and rescuers, with other estimates reaching over a hundred.

Graphic images and videos emerged on social media following Douma’s alleged gas attack, showing children struggling to breathe and entire families who had succumbed to the attack on the floors of underground shelters.

Twelve of the 15 council members backed the US-drafted measure, including the UK and France.

Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN described the resolution ahead of the vote as "the bare minimum that the council can do to respond to the attack" on Saturday.

The Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia hit back at the US accusing them of planting the resolution as a "pretext" to justify action against Syria.

"We are using the veto in order to protect international rule of law, peace and security, to make sure that you do not drag the Security Council into your adventures," Nebenzia said.

Russia's veto comes as President Donald Trump is threatening an imminent military strike against Syria.

Trump slammed the "horrible attack" and vowed to respond "forcefully". "We're going to make a decision tonight or very shortly thereafter," he told reporters.

Russia has presented a third draft resolution for a vote that would support an investigation by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, but would not create a mechanism to identify the perpetrators.

Eastern Ghouta has been under a ruthless seven-week assault that devastated the area and killed more than 1,700 civilians, allowing Assad's forces to gain control of more than 90 percent of the former rebel stronghold.

Around 500,000 people have died and millions made homeless in seven years of fighting in Syria, which was sparked when regime forces brutally put down peaceful protests in 2011.