Russia and China get their veto buttons ready
The UN Security Council will meet on Wednesday afternoon in yet another attempt to take down Assad — and derail months of peace efforts backed by Moscow.
The United States, Britain and France on Tuesday proposed a United Nations Security Council resolution which blames Assad for the chemical attack that occurred in a jihadist-held town in northwestern Syria.
The draft resolution "expresses its outrage that individuals continue to be killed and injured by chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic, and expresses its determination that those responsible must be held accountable."
The resolution itself calls for a formal investigation — and UN permission to inspect Syrian military facilities. But why have an investigation when the states who drafted the resolution already blame Assad?
The ulterior motive behind this resolution is crystal clear: The US and its client states want to pressure the international community into abandoning a political settlement in Syria, and choose instead "Assad must go" as the only viable option.
One small problem: Russia and China will almost certainly give a performance of their own — less theatrical, and more "fact-based".
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has already made it clear that Moscow will continue to support the Syrian Army and its allies.
Russia and China vetoed a similar resolution in late February. Now the stakes are much higher. Moscow and Beijing are gearing up to take on major diplomatic circus.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said that today's Security Council meeting will be the "moment of truth" for Syria, and told reports that he hoped "this moment will be able to mobilize the capacity of all those that have responsibilities in this situation".
His comments came just hours before Pope Francis described the attack as an "unacceptable massacre".
This is what desperation looks like:
Moscow will continue to support Syrian Army troops in their anti-terrorism effort, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, after being asked whether Russian policy had changed following a reported chemical attack in the Idlib province.
Peskov cited the opinion of the Russian military, which said the contamination may have been caused by damage to a rebel chemical weapons storage site.
The acting Russian envoy to the UN will voice this position during an emergency meeting of the Security Council on Wednesday, Peskov added.
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