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Ambassador: U.N. Being Held ‘Hostage’ By Russia On Syria

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The Obama administration estimates that 100 to 150 people have died from chemical weapons attacks in Syria. (Photo credit  JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images)

The Obama administration estimates that 100 to 150 people have died from chemical weapons attacks in Syria. (Photo credit JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBS DC) – U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power, an advocate for humanitarian intervention, is trying to convince Security Council members about the need for a U.S. strike against Syria.

CBS News asked Power her thoughts on Russia’s President Vladimir Putin stating that he wants to see proof that chemical weapons were used in Syria.

“Russia continues to hold the Council hostage and shirk its international responsibility, including as party to a chemical weapons convention,” Power responded. “Instead, the system has protected the prerogatives of Russia, the patron of a regime that would brazenly stage the world’s largest chemical weapons attack in a quarter century, while U.N. inspectors were across town.”

Power held a briefing Thursday at the U.S. Mission with U.N. Security Council member nations to give them an unclassified briefing on the U.S. intelligence regarding the responsibility of the Syrian government in the Aug. 21 attack in Damascus.

“We in the U.S. agree that at times like this the Security Council should live up to its obligations and act,” said Power.

However, Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon urged world leaders to avoid a military response with Syria during the G-20 meeting and pressed the international community to wait until the U.N. weapons inspector’s report is complete.

‘While the world is focused on concerns about the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria we must push even harder for the International Conference on Syria to take place in Geneva,” Ban stated Thursday in St. Petersburg. “A political solution is the only way to end the bloodshed in Syria.”

Ban met briefly with President Barack Obama Thursday at the G-20.

His spokesman stated that the Joint Special Representative for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, is en route to Russia to assist in pressing world leaders for an international conference in Syria.

Power called on U.N. member states to agree with the U.S. assessment about the chemical weapons attack occurring.

“It’s in our interests and that of all member states to respond decisively to this horrific attack,” Power urged.

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