UN rejects Russian call to condemn Syria strikes

The UN Security Council on Saturday rejected a Russian resolution calling for condemnation of the "aggression" by the United States and its allies against Syria.

Russia's UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said after the vote 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".

He accused the allies of violating the UN Charter and international law.

The vote reflected support for the airstrikes on Syrian chemical sites, but also demonstrated again the paralysis of the UN's most powerful body in dealing with the Syria conflict.

"The scene that we just witnessed is quite sad," said Syrian representative Bashar Jaffari.

"In this council there are those who prefer to overlook and not see a big elephant that we've spoken of before. The elephant is namely a direct military occupation of one-third of my country's territory. A military occupation and American direct military occupation of one-third of our territory.

"However, there are those who speak of small minor details and they think that they are pivotal. The political scene is way more dangerous than this. We are a state whose sovereignty has been violated by a permanent member of this council."

The UN meets to discuss Syria.
The UN meets to discuss Syria. Photo credit: Reuters

He called the rebels a "terrorist organisation established by the British intelligence".

Russia's demand for condemnation and an immediate halt to "aggression" and "any further use of force" by the US, Britain and France got support from only two other countries on the 15-member council - China and Bolivia.

Syria takes town hit by alleged chemical attack

The Syrian military says it's now in control of the eastern Ghouta suburbs of Damascus.

Brigadier General Ali Mayhoub, a spokesman for the Syrian Armed Forces, read the statement on Syrian TV.

"After a series of concentrated and strong operations for a week, units of our armed forces and allied groups have completed the liberation of eastern Ghouta," Mayhoub said.

Earlier on Saturday, Syrian police units entered the town of Douma, a site of a suspected chemical weapons attack and the last rebel town in the eastern Ghouta region.

Douma and the sprawling eastern Ghouta region near the capital, Damascus, had been under rebel control since 2012 and was a thorn in the side of President Bashar Assad's government for years.

The government's capture of Douma, the last town held by the rebels in eastern Ghouta, marks a major victory for Assad.

APTN / Newshub.