Published: Sun, April 15, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

USA weighs Syria strikes after failed United Nations bids for chemical weapons inquiry

USA weighs Syria strikes after failed United Nations bids for chemical weapons inquiry

The Hague-based Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said Syria had been asked to make the necessary arrangements for the deployment of an investigation team.

A draft resolution requires nine votes to be adopted in the 15-member council and no veto from the five permanent members - Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.

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

US Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley said after the vote that month after month, the Assad regime, with full support of Russian Federation and Iran, has strung along this Council.

The OPCW said it would "shortly" deploy a fact-finding team to Douma for an investigation, but United States officials said they were working from their own information and would not necessarily hold back.

"I would once again ask you, once again beseech you to refrain from the plans that you are now developing for Syria", he said.

"History will record that, on this day, Russian Federation chose protecting a monster over the lives of the Syrian people", Haley said, referring to Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Russia has been calling for action to prevent tensions from spiraling out of control after the U.S. president and his allies threatened to strike Syria in response to the alleged use of poisonous gas in Duma, the last militant stronghold that the Russian military said was retaken by government forces this week. The latter attack led to a U.S. airstrike on a Syrian airfield.

The OPCW does not have a mandate to establish who is responsible for attacks, and the joint OPCW-UN taskforce that once did was shut down by Russian Federation previous year after it blamed the Syria regime.

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US President Donald Trump cancelled a planned trip to Latin America today (13 April) to focus on responding to the Syria incident, the White House said.

As it looked to head off the threat of Western strikes, Syria said it had invited the OPCW to visit the site of the alleged attack in Douma, a settlement in the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta that is falling to the regime after a long and bloody siege.

The mission will goal to find out whether or not banned munitions have been used however won't assign blame.

The OPCW said it would "shortly" deploy a fact-finding team to Douma for an investigation, but USA officials said they were working from their own information and would not necessarily hold back.

A European supply stated European governments have been ready for the OPCW to hold out its investigation and for extra strong forensic proof from the assault to emerge.

In Syria, 1000's of militants and their households arrived in rebel-held components of the nation's northwest after surrendering Douma to authorities forces.

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.

May 2014: China and Russian Federation block a French-drafted proposal for the Security Council to refer Syrian crimes to the International Criminal Court (ICC) is blocked. TASS news agency quoted him as saying he believed common sense would prevail.

However, inspectors with the global chemical weapons watchdog will travel to Douma to investigate reports of a chemical attack.

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