US accuses Russia of protecting Syria over chemical attacks

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U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley is accusing Russia of protecting Syrian President Bashar Assad from responsibility for what she says were multiple chlorine gas attacks on civilians in recent weeks.

Haley told the U.N. Security Council on Monday that Russia has delayed adoption of a council statement condemning the use of chemical weapons, including a reported chlorine attack Thursday in the opposition-held Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta that injured over 20 civilians.

Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia retorted that “it’s completely clear to us the goal is to basically accuse the Syrian government of chemical weapons use where no perpetrators have been identified.”

Russia proposed a rival press statement eliminating a reference to Thursday’s attack and “the unacceptable level of violence in Syria, particularly in Eastern Ghouta.”

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