Russian Federation vetoes United Nations resolution on chemical weapons probe in Syria

Russian Federation vetoes United Nations resolution on chemical weapons probe in Syria

Russian Federation vetoes United Nations resolution on chemical weapons probe in Syria

United Nations diplomats said they were expecting a Russian veto of the U.S. text during the council meeting scheduled for 3:00 pm (2000 GMT).

The mandate of the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism expires on November 17.

Russian Federation has vetoed nine resolutions on Syria since the conflict started in 2011, including blocking an initial US bid on October 24 to renew the JIM, saying it wanted to wait for the release two days later of the inquiry's report that blamed a sarin gas attack on the Syrian government.

The JIM's leaders said they were "confident" that Syria's government was responsible for an aerial attack on Khan Sheikhoun on April 4 using sarin that killed about 100 people and affected about 200 others who survived "acute exposure" to the nerve agent.

The UN Security Council was to vote yesterday on a US-drafted resolution that would extend for a year an global probe to determine who is behind chemical attacks in Syria's six-year war.

A resolution requires nine votes to be adopted at the council, but five countries - Russia, Britain, China, France and the United States - can block adoption with their veto power. "Not doing so would only give consent to such atrocities while tragically failing the Syrian people who have suffered from these despicable acts".

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Washington and its allies have blamed President Bashar al-Assad's government for the attack, but Syria has denied using chemical weapons, with strong backing from Russian Federation.

"Need all on the UN Security Council to vote to renew the Joint Investigative Mechanism for Syria to ensure that Assad Regime does not commit mass murder with chemical weapons ever again", Trump said in a note on Twitter.

The White House in June cautioned against another possible chemical weapons strike in Syria, warning that the Assad government would "pay a heavy price" for it.

Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said this week that scrapping the chemical weapons probe in Syria "may send a bad signal, but the way the investigation has been conducted sends an even worse signal". But it is not authorized to determine responsibility and that is why the United States and Russian Federation worked together to draft the resolution establishing the U.N. -OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism in 2015.

The JIM experts also said they were "confident" the Islamic State extremist group was responsible for an attack at Um Hosh in Aleppo in September 2016 using mustard gas. Later, the United States reviewed its draft to include some of the provisions from the Russian document.

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