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Russia's UN ambassador criticises security council's refusal to condemn US-led strikes

RUSSIA’S UN ambassador Vassily Nebenzia has criticised the UN security council’s weekend refusal to back Moscow’s draft resolution to condemn Saturday’s US-led missile attacks on Syria.

He said the meeting confirmed that the US and its allies “continue to put international politics and diplomacy in the realm of myth-making — myths invented in London, Paris and Washington.”

Russia’s draft was backed by China and Bolivia, while the Nato trio drew support from the Netherlands, Sweden, Kuwait, Poland and Ivory Coast. Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Equatorial Guinea and Peru abstained.

“We put facts contrary to your myths. If we continue on this path, we will soon reach the diplomacy of the absurd,” said Mr Nebenzia.

He called it “a very sad day for the world, for the UN, for its charter, which was blatantly, blatantly violated and for the security council which has shirked its responsibilities.”

“I would like to believe that we will not see a day that is worse than today.”

His US counterpart Nikki Haley told the security council “there is clear information demonstrating Assad’s culpability,” in a chemical weapons attack.

She added that President Donald Trump had told her that, if Damascus uses poisonous gas again, “the United States is locked and loaded” to strike again.

“When our president draws a red line, our president enforces the red line,” she stressed.

Ms Haley emphasised today that President Trump’s “Mission accomplished” reference did not mean that the US would soon be pulling troops out of Syria.

She said that the three US goals for accomplishing its mission are making sure chemical weapons are not used in a way that could harm US national interests, that Islamic State is defeated and that there is a good vantage point to watch what Iran is doing.

“We’re not going to leave until we know we've accomplished those things.”

The Syrian army declared eastern Ghouta “fully liberated” after the last group of Army of Islam fighters and their families left the town of Douma.

Brigadier General Ali Mayhoub said that special units were clearing streets and squares from mines and explosives planted by the jihadists.

The army reported discovering weapons factories, arms depots, tunnels and storage depots.

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