Russia blocks U.N. Security Council condemnation of Syria attack

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SHAFAQNA – Russia blocked a Western-led effort at the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday to condemn last week’s deadly gas attack in Syria and push Moscow’s ally President Bashar al-Assad to cooperate with international inquiries into the incident.

It was the eighth time during Syria’s six-year-old civil war that Moscow has used its veto power on the Security Council to shield Assad’s government.

In the latest veto, Russia blocked a draft resolution backed by the United States, France and Britain to denounce the attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun and tell Assad’s government to provide access for investigators and information such as flight plans.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that trust had eroded between the two countries under U.S. President Donald Trump.

Russia’s deputy U.N. envoy, Vladimir Safronkov, said the draft resolution laid blame prior to an independent investigation.

“I’m amazed that this was the conclusion. No one has yet visited the site of the crime. How do you know that?” he said.

He said the U.S. attack on the Syrian air base “was carried out in violation of international norms.”

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