Russian and US diplomats clash at UN Security council over chemical attack in Syria
UN Security council was summoned today to discuss the recent chemical attack in Syria which killed 72 people and injured dozens more on Tuesday.
United Kingdom, France and the United States proposed a resolution demanding a full-scale investigation into the attack, which they believe was carried out by Syrian Government forces commanded by President Bashar Al Asaad. The chemical attack, carried out by unidentified fighter jets, killed 72 people and was described by several countries as a barbarian act and a violation of several international human rights laws.
US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, accused Russia of being involved in the attack. Haley said that Russia bear some responsibility for the attack since it “failed to stop its ally, the Syrian government, even after it bombed innocent civilians”. “How many more children have to die before Russia cares?” she asked during her speech.
Haley also noted that the toxin used in the alleged attack was more deadly than in previous cases attributed to the Syrian Government forces by Washington, using it as an argument that Russia does not care about establishing peace in Syria and the rest of the region. She also warned that if Russia and the UN itself fail to intervene, the US will be forced to take the matter into their own hands.
Russian Ambassador to the UN Vladimir Sarfronkov criticized the draft resolution for being biased and unbalanced and said Haley was jumping to conclusions. He added that the document should include several amendments if it was to be taken seriously and adopted. “The draft was penned in haste and adopting it would have been irresponsible”, Safrankov said.
He also blamed Western diplomats for their unwillingness to investigate previous cases of alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria, and reminded that several analysis and reports suggested that various rebel forces poses chemical weapons and are willing to use them.
Fyodor Strizhovski, the spokesman for the Russian delegates in the UN, said that Moscow has come up with its own draft resolution, which is said to be “made to enforce and speed up the investigation, and not to cause unnecessary political debates”. He added that unlike the draft made by the US, the Russian version was met with positive reaction by other UN states and that the Russian delegates will work with their colleagues from other countries to refine it and adopt it as soon as possible.
However, this Russian move was met with criticism from US, French and British delegates who demanded that the resolution should focus on the responsibility of the Syrian government, either for carrying out or allowing the attack to happen. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Gennady Gatilov warned that, if such a resolution is ever brought up, his team will impose a veto. “They can bring up whatever resolution they want, but it is our full right to vote against it, and that is exactly what we will do”, Gatilov said.
And while Russian and Western diplomats wage a verbal war, various humanitarian organizations around the world call for a new agreement which will enforce a new ceasefire and stop further bloodshed.