Russian Federation vetoes US-drafted Security Council resolution

Syrian government forces backed by Russia have pounded Eastern Ghouta in recent months

A Downing Street spokesman said of the calls: "They agreed that reports of a chemical weapons attack in Syria were utterly reprehensible and, if confirmed, represented further evidence of the Assad regime's appalling cruelty against its own people and total disregard for its legal obligations not to use these weapons".

Mr Nebenzia said threats of U.S. military action "should make us seriously anxious, all of us".

Alastair W.M. Hay, a professor of toxicology at Leeds University in England, told the Post the look of the bodies "is pretty much consistent with a nerve-agent-type exposure".

At a U.N. Security Council meeting Tuesday, Russia has vetoed a resolution on Syria drafted by the United States on the latest apparent chemical weapons attack, at a time when President Trump is considering launching new military action.

Theresa May is planning to join the USA in taking military action in Syria without a vote in Parliament, according to a new report from the BBC.

The crisis was discussed Monday at an urgent UN Security Council meeting, while the USA also circulated a draft resolution for a new independent inquiry of chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

The battle for influence between Washington and Moscow is now being played out in the United Nations, where both powers have proposed resolutions to investigate the alleged attack.

Donald Trump has issued a stark warning to Russian Federation and Syria to "get ready" for a missile attack on the Assad regime.

On Monday, Defense Secretary James Mattis said he would not "rule out anything" as a response against Syrian President Bashar Assad.

"Military means will lead us nowhere". Nebenzya noted that over the weekend, when Douma was allegedly targeted by chemical weapons, the United States side declared it already knew who was at fault - "Animal Assad", Russia and Iran - so the U.S. proposal appeared insincere.

Wednesday, a Russian official said the chemical attack was staged and filmed by members of the White Helmets organization, a volunteer group inside rebel-held areas in Syria. The Kremlin said on Wednesday it hoped all sides involved in Syria would avoid doing anything that could destabilise an already fragile situation in the Middle East, and made clear it strongly opposed any U.S. strike on its ally.

Russian Federation vetoed a US -drafted resolution to create a new inquiry to ascertain blame for such attacks.

"They agreed they would continue working closely together and with global partners to ensure that those responsible were held to account", a statement from May's office said.

Trump said his administration will likely say "after the fact" how it chose to respond to the suspected chemical attack.

That followed comments from Moscow's envoy Vassily Nebenzia, who said Russian experts have already visited the site, collected soil samples, interviewed witnesses and medical personnel, and that no chemical weapons attack had taken place.

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