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UN Security Council Postpones Vote On Deadly Syrian Gas Attack Amid Negotiations

Syrians dig a grave to bury the bodies of some of the 86 victims of a suspected toxic-gas attack in Khan Sheikhun, a nearby rebel-held town in Syria’s northwestern Idlib Province on April 5.

The United Nations Security Council on April 6 postponed voting on a resolution condemning a deadly chemical-weapons attack in northern Syria as negotiators wrangled over the wording.

Western countries have blamed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's armed forces for the air attack that dispersed what appeared to be a nerve agent on the town of Khan Sheikhoun on April 4, killing at least 86 people.

Syria's government has denied responsibility.

The United States, Britain, and France proposed a UN resolution condemning the attack and pressing Syria to cooperate with international investigators. Russia said the text was unacceptable and proposed a rival resolution.

The 10 elected members of the 15-member council proposed a compromise resolution, based on the text by Western powers.

"U.N. Security Council will no longer vote on the [resolution] on Syria this evening. Consultations among council members are ongoing," British diplomat Stephen Hickey posted on Twitter.

A Security Council resolution needs nine votes to pass and can be vetoed by any of the five permanent council members -- the United States, Britain, France, Russia, or China.

"Efforts continue to reach unity on a strong resolution w/ strong condemnation, immediate independent investigation & accountability," Swedish diplomat Carl Skau posted on Twitter.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump ordered a cruise-missile attack against a Syrian airbase early on April 7 in response to the chemical-weapons attack.

Based on reporting by Reuters and TASS