On the heels of reports that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons against his own people on August 21, it appears Russia and China have effectively “neutered” a strong U.S. response to the incident.
According to Foreign Policy, the U.S. joined Britain and France in calling for Assad to allow a U.N. Chemical Weapons Team to investigate the area in which the weapons were allegedly used and to grant the weapons team “greater latitude” while in country than they have had in the past. They also called for all combatants in Syria to allow “safe, full and unfettered access to the U.N. mission and to comply with all requests for evidence and information.”
But after the U.S. circulated a draft resolution requesting these and other urgent measures, “the most strenuous provisions of the… draft were stripped out during closed-door negotiations with Russia and China.”
In the end, instead of the demands the Obama administration requested, “the 15-nation council released a milder statement” expressing “strong concern” and asking for clarity on what happened.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins.