United Nations chief 'outraged' at apparent chem weapons use

Russia, US headed for clash at UN over Syria gas attacks probe (VIDEO)

Russia, US headed for clash at UN over Syria gas attacks probe (VIDEO)

The request from the OPCW Technical Secretariat to the Syrian government was announced just as Russian Federation was telling the U.N. Security Council it would put two draft resolutions on Syria to a vote on Tuesday, after rejecting a similar proposal from the USA following an angry debate at the council Monday.

The resolution needed at least nine "yes" votes in the 15-member council for approval, but only six countries voted in favor.

"Russia will inevitably veto the US resolution criticizing Assad, and Washington will use this to justify military strikes", he said.

China's representative in the United Nations called on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to take up the responsibility to build unity and consensus and do its utmost to prevent incidents like chemical attacks in Syria's Douma which claimed lives of more than 50 people.

The measures come as President Donald Trump is threatening an imminent military strike against Syria, vowing to respond "forcefully" to Saturday's apparent chemical weapons attack on civilians and warning that Russian Federation or any other nation found to share responsibility will "pay a price".

After President Donald Trump warned on Monday that there would be a "big price to pay" for the suspected attack over the weekend, the United States circulated to the 15-member council a revised draft resolution to establish an worldwide inquiry, which it initially suggested on 1 March.

Russian Federation rejected the findings on Syria's culpability and vetoed a Western-backed resolution in November that would have renewed the U.N. -OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism, or JIM.

"Syria is keen on cooperating with the OPCW to uncover the truth behind the allegations that some Western sides have been advertising to justify their aggressive intentions", Syria's state news agency SANA said.

Had one of the two mechanisms proposed in the drafts been approved, it could have filled the vacuum left by the Organisation for Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) when its mandate expired last November.

Meanwhile, President Trump is weighing a possible military response.

The Syrian government and its key ally Russian Federation have denied involvement in the attack on Douma on Saturday, in which a Syria medical relief group said at least 60 people had been killed and more than 1,000 injured in several sites. Although some of those who fled are drifting back to Afrin, Mr. Mahecic said many were living in makeshift shelters and unfinished buildings.

Trump has made it clear he plans to make the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, and perhaps his Russian and Iranian backers, pay for the latest alleged toxic gas atrocity in the war-wracked country.

Trump's threat of retaliatory military action prompted a slew of Russian comments warning that US strikes could trigger a direct military clash between them.

In a separate incident, a Russian warplane this weekend flew over a French warship at low altitude in the eastern Mediterranean, a deliberate breach of worldwide regulations, a French naval source said on Tuesday.

Russian Federation and Syria deny this, saying the incident was either fabricated or was a false-flag attack. Trump responded then by launching dozens of Navy cruise missiles at a Syrian airfield.

The team also accused the Islamic State extremist group of using mustard gas twice in 2015 and 2016.

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