U.S. Senate blocks bill on new anti-Russia sanctions

U.S. Senate blocks bill on new anti-Russia sanctions

The U.S. Senate have prevented consideration of a bill on new sanctions against Moscow and Tehran over helping the Syrian government.

The bill called 'Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act' seeks to target Syria and its allies – Russia and Iran – with new sanctions as well as to boost U.S. security cooperation with Israel and Jordan.

The bill was supported only by 56 out of 100 senators, while 60 votes were needed for further consideration of the bill.

Most Senate Democrats have vowed to block all legislation in the Senate until it votes on a measure to end the shutdown, criticizing U.S. President Donald Trump’s fellow Republicans for backing his demand for $5.7 billion to build a barrier on the border with Mexico before reopening the government, Reuters reported.

The Middle East legislation included provisions supported by both Republicans and Democrats to impose new sanctions on Syria and guarantee security assistance to Israel and Jordan. Those are seen as efforts to reassure U.S. allies worried about shifts in U.S. policy since Trump abruptly announced plans last month for a quick withdrawal of the roughly 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria.