04/11/2018, 11.19
SYRIA-UN
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Chemical attack on Douma: War of vetoes between Moscow and Washington

Russia rejects the US proposal: a pretext for military intervention. The US promises a harsh response to the chemical attack. The climate of tension in the region is exacerbated: Iran promises that the Israeli attack on its bases in Homs "will not remain unanswered".

New York (AsiaNews / Agencies) – A war of vetoes and of words continue between Washington and Moscow in the UN Security Council, in the context of the escalation of tensions that continues after the chemical attack on Douma, in Syria.

Opponents, doctors and rescuers accuse the government of President Bashar al-Assad of having launched a chemical attack on the city of Douma, in the eastern Ghouta region, injuring 1,000 people and killing more than 60.

The city was controlled by the rebels Jaish al-Islam , who have entered into an evacuation agreement with Syria and Russia.

Supported by the Russian ally, Damascus denies being involved in the episode. A team from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) will "soon" confirm or deny the effective use of prohibited weapons on Douma, but the experts cannot determine the author of the attack.

Yesterday, Russia vetoed the American proposal to launch a new independent investigation into the facts and warns: it will consider Washington "responsible" for any "illegal military action" it intends to put into practice.

Alongside Russia, China abstained from voting, while among the 12 votes in favour there were those of France, United Kingdom, Kazakhstan and Kuwait. Previously, Washington, London and Paris rejected the Russian proposal, stating that it would not create an independent investigation commission, because it would have to report the results of its investigations to the Security Council, which would then attribute the responsibility for the attack.

UN Security Council resolutions are passed with a majority of nine out of 15, and no vote against by the five permanent members - the United Kingdom, China, France, Russia and the United States.

The heated discussion between the representatives of Moscow and Washington at the Security Council is just the latest in a series of verbal confrontations between the two superpowers. The Russian representative, Vasily Nebenzia, accused the US of seeking a "pretext" to intervene militarily in Syria.

The statements followed the promise of US President Donald Trump to implement an "incisive" response to the chemical attack and his decision to cancel the first official trip to Latin America, precisely to focus on Syria. Alongside the United States, the United Kingdom and France stand, giving substance to the possibility of coordinated Western military action.

The climate of tension is enveloping the whole region: yesterday, a senior Iranian official visiting Damascus warned that the Israeli attack on Syrian base T4, in the province of Homs, in Syria - where 14 Iranians would have died - "will not remain unanswered ".

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