Will the seven-year Syrian crisis soon blow up into a catastrophic World War III which can lead to a nuclear apocalypse? The latest information and statements coming in from superpowers US and Russia suggest the same. While Russian state television has cautioned the citizens of the country to prepare for World War III, US has, without mincing words, declared that it is “locked and loaded” to strike Syria again if President Bashar Assad's regime continues using chemical weapons and poisonous gas in the war-torn country.
The statement issuing World War III warning appeared on Russian state media after the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) rejected a resolution by Russia calling for condemnation of "aggression" by the United States, United Kingdom and France against Syria.
Russia's demand for condemnation and an immediate halt to "aggression" and "any further use of force" by the three Western allies got support from only two other countries on the 15-member Security Council - China and Bolivia. Eight countries voted against the Russian draft - the US, UK, France, Netherlands, Sweden, Kuwait, Poland and Ivory Coast while four countries - Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Equatorial Guinea and Peru - abstained.
The US, UK and France said they launched air strikes against Syrian chemical sites after obtaining evidence that a chemical weapon was used by President Bashar Assad's government. Russia and its ally Syria called the attack fabricated and said no evidence of chemical weapons use exists in Douma.
US Ambassador Nikki Haley told the council "there is clear information demonstrating Assad's culpability." And she said President Donald Trump told her Saturday morning that if the Syrian regime uses poisonous gas again "the United States is locked and loaded" to strike again. "When our president draws a red line, our president enforces the red line," Haley stressed. "The United States of America will not allow the Assad regime to continue using chemical weapons."
France's UN Ambassador Francois Delattre said the result of the vote sends "a clear message" that Security Council members recognised the need for the air strikes, and "their proportional and targeted nature."
(With agency inputs)