Russian Federation vetoes United Nations draft resolution on Syria gas attack probe

Russian Federation had suspended that effort after US missile strikes on a Syrian air base following an April 4 chemical weapons attack on a village in rebel territory.

And Putin, who USA intelligence agencies say tried to help Trump get elected, insisted that relations with the US had only gone downhill since Trump took office in January.

"They fabricated the whole story in order to have a pretext for the attack", added Mr Assad, who has been in power for 17 years.

As their envoys gathered in Moscow, President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin were voicing protests of their own.

"It is an attempt by him to throw up false flags, create confusion", Toner said. Even President Obama gave it a shout out at his 2014 State of the Union, telling members of Congress "American diplomacy, backed by the threat of force, is why Syria's chemical weapons are being eliminated".

In addition to an investigation, the resolution would have condemned the use of chemical weapons in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun on 4 April.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said experts had analysed available information "and their preliminary assessment (was) that this was a credible allegation".

"It's stage one, the play [they staged] that we saw on social network and TVs, then propaganda and then stage two, the military attack", he said, questioning the authenticity of the video footage.

Looking at the resolution's supporters sitting around the horseshoe-shaped table in the Security Council, he said: "You are afraid of an impartial investigation" that the Syrian government was being blamed for chemical weapons attacks carried out by extremists. "And the more contrived these pseudo-proofs, the more "secret" they are", Konashenkov said on Friday.

He insisted his forces had turned over all chemical weapons stockpiles in 2013, under a deal brokered by Russian Federation to avoid threatened United States military action.

The U.S intelligence community says it is confident that Assad's forces used the nerve agent sarin against civilians, killing scores of people and numerous children.

"Our firepower, our ability to attack the terrorists hasn't been affected by this strike".


Safronkov added that the American missile strikes conducted last week were carried out "in violation of worldwide norms".

It was the first direct U.S. military action against al-Assad's forces since the start of Syria's civil war six years ago and led to a quick downward spiral in ties between Washington and Moscow.

"We discussed our view that Russian Federation as their closest ally in the conflict perhaps has the best means of helping Assad recognize this reality", he said.

Mr Tillerson, making the first visit by a Trump Cabinet official, went to the Kremlin in the evening to meet the Russian leader, the US Embassy and the Kremlin said.

On Thursday Trump expressed confidence that US-Russia ties would improve.

He said the US should be more forthright in its foreign policy, and make it clear that there will be consequences if such a deal is broken. "At the right time everyone will come to their senses & there will be lasting peace!"

In the wake of the meeting Russian Federation then vetoed a US-backed resolution at the United Nations demanding the Syrian government cooperate with an investigation of a suspected chemical attack that the West blames on Moscow's ally Bashar al-Assad.

It was a grim assessment that echoed the words of Trump's top diplomat, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who left an nearly two-hour meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow declaring the countries had reached a "low point" in relations.

Trump envoy Tillerson's talks with Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov have been haunted by the incident that saw the United States launch punitive strike against Assad's forces.

At the meeting, the sides had a rather "substantive" discussion on the Syrian crisis.

"Despite the quantity of existing problems. there are considerable prospects for joint work", Lavrov said, after he took Tillerson for private talks with Putin.

The civil war is separate from the US-led effort against the Islamic State group in the north of the country.

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