Russia on Wednesday vetoed a United Nations resolution condemning the reported use of chemical weapons in Syria and urging a speedy investigation, CNN reports.
The resolution would have required Syria to cooperate with an investigation and face full accountability for using chemical weapons last week in an attack in the Syrian village of Khan Sheikhou which left more than 85 people dead and hundreds injured.
Bashar Ja’afari, the Syrian envoy to the UN, dismissed as “lies” and “accusations” the belief that his country used “a chemical weapon we do not even possess.”
Western countries have accused Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of using sarin in the attack, and the U.S. retaliated by firing more than 50 cruise missiles at the Sharyat Airbase in Syria. A U.S. defense official told CNN the purpose of the attack was to send a message to the Syrian regime that “any use of chemical weapons would not be tolerated.”
The UN resolution was created by the United States, United Kingdom and France, and it was presented the same day U.S. officials charged that Russia was covering up the attack. Nikki Haley, the US envoy to the United Nations, also accused Russia of knowing that the chemical attack was going to happen.
“I think that they knew, yes,” Haley said Tuesday in an interview with CNN.
“I think they’re nervous,” Haley continued. “I think that they very much feel as if they’ve been weakened by Assad’s actions and their cover up. They realize the international community didn’t buy it and is not buying it. And they now have to figure out how to save face. We’re giving them all the options to save face.”
Source: newsmax – Report: Russia Vetoes UN Resolution on Syria