UN Council must prevent Syria 'spiralling out of control': Guterres

A child affected by an alleged chemical attack in Syria over the weekend.                        Syria Civil Defense White Helmets via APTN

A child affected by an alleged chemical attack in Syria over the weekend. Syria Civil Defense White Helmets via APTN

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the Security Council that adopting the U.S. -drafted resolution was the least that member nations could do.

His comments follow the Council's failure to agree on a response to an alleged chemical attack in Syria's rebel-held Douma over the weekend that has triggered global fury.

Russian Federation has vetoed a US -drafted United Nations resolution that would have condemned last weekend's suspected gas attack in Syria.

"History will record that, on this day, Russian Federation chose protecting a monster over the lives of the Syrian people", Haley said, referring to Assad.

"I just hope that we do not consider this the end when it comes to ensuring that the facts are established and that there is a true accountability and no more impunity for the horrendous use of chemical weapons in Syria and elsewhere", Mr Skoog said.

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Twelve council members voted in favour, while Bolivia joined Russian Federation in voting against, and China abstained.

"We are at a very fragile phase of council deliberations now and we need to reflect carefully on the way forward to ensure that we don't jump into further paralysis (that is) hard to defend or fix", said Skoog.

"Whenever we propose anything meaningful on Syria, Russia vetoes it".

The ministry said Syria is keen to cooperate with the OPCW "to reveal the truth behind the allegations, which are prompted by some Western powers to justify their aggressive intentions to serve their political goals", the ministry said. After seven years of "filthy terrorist war" in Syria, the choice was clear, he said adding that the Council should stand up to lies, conscious that worldwide public opinion would be judging its ability to safeguard the world.

A draft resolution requires 9 votes to be adopted in the 15-member council and no veto from the 5 permanent members - Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.

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Criticising the positions of the US, UK and France, he said that some permanent Council members were attempting to cover up domestic crises and conflicts among their political elites.

"I appeal to the Security Council to fulfil its responsibility and find unity on this issue", he said.

The rival Russian resolutions - on a new accountability body and the OPCW fact-finding mission - both failed to get the required nine "yes" votes needed for adoption.

On Saturday, activists said the Syrian government used chlorine gas while bombing Douma, the last rebel-held area in the Eastern Ghouta countryside of Damascus.

Russian Federation rejected the findings on Syria's culpability and vetoed a Western-backed resolution in November that would have renewed the UN-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM).

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