Published: Mon, April 17, 2017
Research | By Elizabeth Houston

Russian Federation vetoes United Nations resolution on Syria chemical attack

Russian Federation vetoes United Nations resolution on Syria chemical attack

Johnson cancelled his trip to Russian Federation earlier this week after the USA launched cruise missiles at a Syrian airbase in response to claims the Assad regime had carried out a chemical attack that killed and wounded dozens of people.

Foreign policy experts say the USA bombing of Syria was done in part to deflect attention from the president's growing list of problems at home, from the investigation of his campaign's alleged ties with Russian Federation to his failed healthcare legislation and blocked travel ban.

Donald Trump has said US-Russia relations might be at "an all time low", after the two countries clashed over the future of Syria and Russia vetoed a United Nations resolution condemning the chemical attack there.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's visit to Moscow comes a few days after his country attacked from the sea a Syrian airbase in retaliation for the use of a chemical weapon on a remote town in the Idlib province, blamed on the Assad regime.

Mr Tillerson reiterated the USA position that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must eventually relinquish power in Syria, a position starkly at odds with Russian Federation. Russian Federation condemned the USA action, accusing it of breaking worldwide law.

He said that over time as more evidence is collated, the threshold necessary to charge Mr Assad with war crimes may be reached.

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The Russian Defense Ministry said that week that the Syrian air force airstrike near Khan Shaykhun hit a terrorist warehouse that stored chemical weapons slated for delivery to Iraq.

Tillerson's Russian counterpart warned the USA diplomat that Moscow believes it is "fundamentally important not to let these actions happen again in the future". Lavrov said the meeting between Tillerson and Putin lasted for over two hours.

Syria has denied any responsibility for the assault which killed at least 87 people, many of them children.

In the interview, Assad insisted it was "not clear" whether an attack on Khan Sheikhun had even happened and questioned the authenticity of the videos being circulated online.

Assad said he could only support an investigation into the Sheikhoun attacks if it was "impartial" and "when we make sure that unbiased countries will participate in this delegation in order to make sure that they won't use it for politicized purposes".

"The Syrian government repeatedly said it does not have chemical weapons, that is because they were all seized in 2014".

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