UN Security Council Meets About Syria As Inspectors Prepare To Head In

UN Security Council Meets About Syria As Inspectors Prepare To Head In

President says all options are on the table as he weighs US retaliation for suspected gas attack in Syria; Kristin Fisher reports from Washington.

The strike on one of the last rebel-held areas around the Syrian capital of Damascus reportedly killed at least 40 people, including a number of women and children.

Following the failure of both the Russian and American proposals, Nebenzya stated that if the United States "took the decision to carry out an illegal military adventure - and I do hope you come to your senses - well, then you will have to bear responsibility for it yourselves".

U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday warned of a quick, forceful response once responsibility was established.

In November, Russia blocked the renewal of the independent panel investigating chemical weapons in Syria, and British Ambassador Karen Pierce reminded the council that Tuesday's vote marked Russia's sixth veto related to chemical weapons in Syria.

State news agency RIA Novosti on Wednesday quoted Andrei Krasov, deputy chairman of the State Duma's defence committee, as saying that Russian Federation will treat a U.S. airstrike on Syria "not just as an act of aggression but a war crime of the Western coalition".

Earlier the World Health Organisation said some 500 patients showed signs of exposure to toxic chemicals following the shelling of Douma on the weekend.

"The team is preparing to deploy to Syria shortly", the Netherlands-based organization said in a statement.

Reports out of Syria suggest dozens of people were killed in rebel stronghold Douma, near Damascus, on Saturday in attack using chemical weapons.

Russian Federation has vetoed a proposal to set up an investigation into chemical weapons use in Syria.

In the 15-member Security Council, 12 voted in favour of the proposal, while Bolivia joined Russian Federation in voting "no" and China abstained.

Russia's representative accused the USA of simply seeking a pretext to justify further use of force against Syria, Michele reported.

Russia's UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia accused the United States of wanting the resolution to fail "to justify the use of force against Syria".

The Assad regime denies it used chemical weapons on the city, as global tensions again rise over the war-torn nation.

He called Mueller's investigation "an attack on our country", prompting new speculation that he might seek the removal of the Justice Department's special counsel.

Britain and the United States agreed on Monday that the attack bore the hallmarks of previous chemical weapons attacks by Assad's government, but neither country gave details of what kind of chemical might have been used or how the attack was staged.

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley told the Security Council on Monday that both Russian Federation and Iran could stop the Syrian government's "murderous destruction", adding that Moscow's hands are "covered in the blood of Syrian children".

It ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, earlier warned of the potential consequences to Western intervention in Syria, saying that U.S. attacks on Syria "could lead to grave repercussions".

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