Global Watchdog to Travel to Syria to Probe Alleged Chemical Attack
- Author: Leroy Wright Apr 11, 2018,
Apr 11, 2018, 17:42
Russian Federation vetoed the US-drafted resolution and China abstained.
Citing the OPCW's announcement that it will soon gather evidence on the ground, she said Washington sees the group as an "impartial body" able to collect evidence but that the US government also has its own mechanisms. "We have a lot of options, militarily", Trump said. "The tone with which this is being done has gone beyond the threshold of what is acceptable, even during the Cold War".
A veto of the US draft by Russian Federation - a close ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad - would be the 12th time Moscow has blocked action on Syria by the council during the country's seven-year-old conflict.
"Since 2013, we've had probably twelve incidents of chemical weapons (in Syria) - so if the world doesn't take a stand then it sends a very clear signal".
It added that the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad "must be held accountable for its continued human rights abuses".
Kay Bailey Hutchinson told Sky's Defence Correspondent Alistair Bunkall: "We would call on Russian Federation to do something, they're propping up Assad".
Trump suggested Monday he had little doubt that Syrian government forces were to blame for what he said was a chemical attack, but neither he nor other administration officials have produced hard evidence.
The decision to cancel the trip - which comes as Trump boils in anger over the Federal Bureau of Investigation raid of his personal attorney's office and hotel room, a move he derided as a "disgraceful situation" - was made on Monday evening, the person said. We are in close touch with our allies following these latest reports. "We'll be making some major decisions over the next 24 to 48 hours".
But key backer Iran came to Assad's defence, saying the allegations were a Western conspiracy and echoing Russia's warning against foreign military action.
He said that it was too early to judge because "no one has exhaustive information" and no investigation has been carried out, although Russian Federation has already sent military experts to the scene.
Jaish al-Islam did not confirm the deal, but a civilian committee from Douma participating in the talks said a "final agreement" was reached for rebels to leave.
Earlier, French President Emmanuel Macron said that the three allies - the U.S., the United Kingdom and France, - will reach a decision on whether to carry out a military action against Syria "in the coming days".
Doctors and witnesses have said victims showed symptoms of poisoning, possibly by a nerve agent, and reported the smell of chlorine gas. The U.S. has denied carrying out the attack, while some suspect Israel, who does not comment on its operations in Syria, was responsible.
It was not immediately clear whether the announcement would delay or prevent a USA strike in Syria.
The Syrian medical aid group is partly funded by Western governments and operates in opposition areas. The rebels agreed to surrender the town to government forces after the suspected gas attack, and have been evacuating in batches to rebel-held areas in the north.
At least 60 people were killed and more than 1,000 others were injured late Saturday, including many women and children who tried to find safe spaces from the bombing in underground shelters.
"The Israeli aggression on the T4 airfield was carried out with F-15 planes", the Syrian state agency SANA said, citing a military source. The Syrian government and its ally, Russia, denied any involvement in the alleged gas attack.