The US has requested a vote at the UN Security Council on a draft resolution for a new inquiry into the alleged chemical incident in Douma, Syria. It comes as Russia urges the UN to dispatch investigators to the site.
The UN Security Council is expected to vote at 3pm New York time (19:00 GMT) on Tuesday, according to media reports, citing diplomatic sources. “The vote has been requested,” an unnamed diplomat told RIA Novosti.
It comes as Moscow and Damascus have urged the UN’s chemical weapons watchdog to send experts to the site of the alleged incident as soon as possible.
“Due to the rapid escalation of the situation, Russia calls on the technical secretariat to urgently send the mission’s experts to establish the facts of the alleged chemical weapons usage in Syria in order to clarify all the details of the incident,” Russia’s mission to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said on Tuesday. It added that any delays would only play into the hands of those who desire to use the reported incident as a pretext to launch an attack on Syria.
While the US will supposedly be seeking an inquiry into the alleged incident, Washington has already pinned the blame for it on Damascus and its allies. Following the first reports that came from the controversial White Helmets and other anti-government groups, US President Donald Trump called his Syrian counterpart Bashar Assad an “animal,” adding that there would be a “big price to pay” for the purported use of chemical weapons.
On Monday, the US envoy to the UN, Nikki Haley, appeared to speak of the alleged chemical attack as a proven fact, blaming Russia and the “monster” Assad for it.
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