UNSC to vote on Syria chem gas attacks probe

17 November, 2017, 01:41 | Author: Kim Reid
  • Russia Demands that US Respect Agreement on Antiterrorism in Syria

However, he stressed that this mandate should be "renewed" to correct the "systemic flaws" affecting the work of the current investigative mission. She accused Moscow of "killing" the resolution, which had received backing from most members of the UN Security Council, and of "undermining" the UN's ability to prevent chemical attacks in the future.

It remained unclear whether Russian Federation would veto the US-drafted measure, which would be the 10th time that Moscow has used its veto power at the council to block action targeting its Syrian ally. It was later re-submitted but failed to garner nine "yes" votes.

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.

The result of Thursday's vote on the US draft resolution would mean that the Joint Investigative Mechanism, known as the JIM, will cease operations when its current mandate expires at midnight Thursday.

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A Syrian man collects samples from the site of a suspected toxic gas attack in Khan Sheikhoun, in Syria's northwestern Idlib province, on April 5, 2017.

Russian UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said the USA draft resolution was not balanced.

In its draft, Russian Federation had insisted that the panel's findings on Khan Sheikhoun be put aside to allow for another "full-scale and high-quality investigation" by the JIM.

"We are of the view that the JIM report, the seventh report, has been established by a flagrant disregard of [the] basic higher standards of the Chemical Convention, UN Security Council resolutions and previous decisions by the ECE executive council", Shulgin said.

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"What is at stake is the professional, independent, objective, scientific, nonpartisan, depoliticized JIM which we've now got, which we've had before, and which we need in the future", Rycroft said.

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.

While Russia agreed to the 2015 creation of the inquiry, known as the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM), it has consistently questioned its findings, which also concluded that the Syrian government used chlorine as a weapon several times.

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