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

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

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel (L), Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson (C), and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson attend roundtable talks during a G-7 for foreign ministers in Lucca, Italy, April 11, 2017.

Could Syria have launched the chemical weapons attack with Russia's advance knowledge?

Russian Federation has argued that civilians in the northern Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun likely died of toxic agents released from a rebel arsenal hit by a Syrian airstrike - a theory categorically rejected by the USA and its allies.

Mr Trump said Mr Tillerson had completed a successful meeting with Mr Putin, where "things went pretty well". Russian Federation says rebels were responsible for whatever chemical agent was used, which the Trump administration calls a disinformation campaign.

"We have seen very alarming actions recently with an unlawful attack against Syria", Mr Lavrov said, referring to the Tomahawk missiles Mr Trump launched at a Syrian air base to punish Assad for using chemical weapons.

The horrific images of children dying from poison gas, which reportedly pushed Trump to take the action he did, are also at play in the support Trudeau appears to have even within the Liberal caucus.

It's hard to imagine how Russian Federation and the US could agree on Syria after President Donald Trump called Assad "an animal" over the deadly chemical attack, while Moscow has insisted on the Syrian leader's innocence.

Canada's position has everything to do with staying on side with Trump and little to do with influencing anything internationally, because the only role Canada has to play is as part of a USA -led coalition, Juneau said.

Until the chemical attack, the Trump administration had sought to step back from the USA position that Assad should leave power.

Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov blasted United States claims that it has "irrefutable evidence" of election interference.

But Mr Tillerson repeated the administration's new belief that "the reign of the Assad family is coming to an end".

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"We have not seen a single fact, or even a hint of facts", he said.

"I think Russian Federation has a choice to make whether they continue to support the Assad regime or whether they stand with the worldwide community", Trudeau said Wednesday. "No one showed us anything, no one said anything, although we repeatedly asked to produce the details on which these unfounded accusations lie".

He also rejected American claims of incontrovertible evidence that Assad ordered the chemical attack.

Still, Mr Tillerson sought to stress the positives from his meetings.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says Moscow and Washington have agreed on the need for the United Nations to investigate the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Deputy Russian UN Ambassador Vladimir Safronkov told the council that "the main problem was that the draft resolution by the Troika appointed the guilty party prior to the investigation, prior to an independent and objective investigation".

But Louis Charbonneau, UN director at Human Rights Watch, condemned the veto and Putin. And he suggested that possible war crimes charges could be levied against the Syrian leader.

The civil war is separate from the USA -led effort against the Islamic State group in the north of the country. -Russian dispute concerns culpability for the chemical weapons, broader disagreements over everything from Ukraine to Russia's support for once-fringe candidates in European elections are among other sore points. Lavrov called the meeting "substantial and very frank".

Lavrov also says that Russian President Vladimir Putin could restore a military hotline with the US if Washington focuses on fighting the Islamic State and other extremist groups.

Analysts are raising increasing doubts about next-steps and question whether Assad's foreign backers, Russian Federation and Iran, are ready to ditch the Syrian leader. "Are we going to get involved with Syria?"

"In this case we had no choice but to be reactive, and if anything we reacted more slowly than some of our other allies", said Juneau, a former Middle East analyst with the Department of National Defence.

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