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Russia blocks UN resolution on Syria

A United Nations Security Council resolution condemning the reported use of chemical weapons in Syria and demanding access for investigators failed Wednesday because of a Russian veto.

It is the eighth time Russia has vetoed a resolution on Syria since the start of the country's civil war in 2011.

Following the vote, Russia’s envoy to the U.N. said the “doomed draft” had “appointed the guilty party prior to the investigation."

China, another permanent member of the Security Council, abstained from the vote. Ethiopia, a non-permanent member, also abstained. Bolivia and Kazakhstan, both non-permanent members, voted against the draft.

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China’s U.N. representative said after the vote that he regrets “the failure to reach such a consensus on the draft” and noted “serious divisions still remain.”

The resolution introduced by the United States, France and the United Kingdom would have condemned the chemical attack and called for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to conduct a complete probe of the incident.

The vote comes several days after President Trump ordered the United States military to launch Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian airfield, believed to be the launching point of the deadly chemical weapons attack.

The U.S. has blamed the chemical weapons attack on Syrian President Bashar Assad, who has been fighting a civil war against various opposition groups since 2011.

The vote also came shortly after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who is in Moscow for meetings, declared that U.S.-Russia relations have hit a “low point,” citing serious mistrust and differences over international issues, including Syria.

Tensions between Moscow and Washington have flared in the aftermath of the chemical attack in Syria, given that Russia has been politically and militarily supporting Assad throughout the civil war.

“It should come as no surprise to anyone that the Putin regime would shield the Assad regime from accountability for using chemical weapons against innocent civilians including children," Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamMcConnell: 'Whoever gets to 60 wins' on immigration Overnight Tech: Uber exec says 'no justification' for covering up hack | Apple considers battery rebates | Regulators talk bitcoin | SpaceX launches world's most powerful rocket Overnight Cybersecurity: Tillerson proposes new cyber bureau at State | Senate bill would clarify cross-border data rules | Uber exec says 'no justification' for covering up breach MORE (R-S.C.) said in a statement. "To expect one war criminal to do anything other than protect another is unrealistic."