NEW YORK (CBS News) — Theis holding an emergency meeting Monday afternoon to discuss the . The attack killed at least 40 people, including families found in their homes and shelters, opposition activists and local rescuers said.
The attack on the besieged town of Douma came almost exactly a year after a chemical attack in the northern Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun killed dozens of people.
The U.S. is urging the council to adopt a new resolution that would condemn the continuing use of chemical weapons in Syria “in the strongest terms” and establish a new body to determine responsibility for chemical attacks.
The draft resolution, obtained Monday by The Associated Press, singles out Saturday’s attack on Douma in the Damascus suburbs, and expresses “outrage that individuals continue to be killed and injured by chemical weapons” in Syria and “determination that those responsible must be held accountable.”
It was circulated ahead of Monday’s emergency Security Council meeting.
President Trump blamed Syrian government forces for what he called a “mindless CHEMICAL attack” and warned that there would be “a big price to pay.” He said Monday morning that he would decide on a potential military response within 24 to 48 hours.
The Russian military’s Reconciliation Center in Syria said it has sent officers into Douma to negotiate with the rebels there. It says experts inspected the areas in Douma where chemical agents were allegedly used and found no trace of them. They also inspected Douma’s hospital and found no patients with chemical poisoning symptoms.
The White House said Monday afternoon that the U.S. is confident in its assessment that the Syrian regime is behind the apparent attack.
The Russian military denounced the White Helmets, opposition-linked first responders who reported the attack and the death toll. It called them “shameless rebel accomplices,” saying they made false allegations to derail a local truce.
Russia is a key ally of President Bashar Assad and has been waging an air campaign in support of his forces since 2015.
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