Britain proposes Syria resolution; Russia objects

Syrian army soldiers are seen deployed in the Jobar neighbourhood of Damascus on Saturday, Aug 24, 2013. The five permanent members of the UN Security Council failed to reach an agreement on Wednesday, Aug 28, 2013, on a British-proposed resolut
Syrian army soldiers are seen deployed in the Jobar neighbourhood of Damascus on Saturday, Aug 24, 2013. The five permanent members of the UN Security Council failed to reach an agreement on Wednesday, Aug 28, 2013, on a British-proposed resolution that would authorise the use of military force against Syria. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

NATIONS - The five permanent members of the UN Security Council failed to reach an agreement on Wednesday on a British-proposed resolution that would authorise the use of military force against Syria.

The draft resolution - if it were to be put to a vote - would almost certainly be vetoed by Russia and China, which have blocked past attempts to sanction President Bashar Assad's regime Britain put forth the proposal on Wednesday as momentum seems to be building among Western allies for a strike against Syria. US officials, including Vice President Joe Biden, have charged that President Bashar Assad's government used deadly chemical weapons near Damascus last week.

The US has not presented concrete proof, and UN inspectors have not endorsed the allegations.

After the ambassadors met for a couple of hours at UN headquarters, the draft resolution was being sent back to their governments for consultations, according to a Western diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the discussions were private. US Ambassador Samantha Power and British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant left the meeting without commenting to reporters waiting outside.

The diplomat said Russia reiterated its objections to international intervention in the Syrian crisis.

A spokesman for British Prime Minister David Cameron said in London that the British draft resolution would authorise "all necessary measures under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter to protect civilians from chemical weapons." Chapter 7 of the UN Charter allows the use of international armed force to back up UN decisions.