UNSC to vote on Syria chem gas attacks probe

UNSC to vote on Syria chem gas attacks probe

UNSC to vote on Syria chem gas attacks probe

Syria has denied any use of chemical weapons, while Russian Federation has accused the JIM of using faulty methods to determine that President Bashar Assad's government was to blame for the attacks, including not visiting Khan Sheikhoun.

The United States and Russian Federation are on a collision course ahead of a United Nations Security Council vote to determine the fate of an ongoing investigation into the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

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

France, which voted in favor of renewing the mandate for the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM), also expressed alarm. "We don't know whether we can come to an agreement".

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, has been sharply critical of Russia's handling of Assad in the wake of the April chemical attacks.

The Russian-drafted resolution was unlikely to garner the nine votes required for adoption, diplomats said.

However, in recent times, we have heard from the Pentagon and the special representative for the fight against ISIS that despite the defeat by Syrian forces of that terrorist group the U.S. has not withdrawn its military presence in the Levantine nation, said the head of Russian diplomacy, stressing that Damascus has always called that deployment illegal and against the will of the Syrian people. Nebenzia said at the time that Moscow wanted to see a JIM report on attacks, which was issued two days later. The US resolution was supported by 11 members of the Council.

Trump said on Twitter that the joint inquiry by the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which decided who is to blame, was needed to prevent Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from using chemical weapons.

Russia's deputy ambassador to the U.N., Vladimir Safronkov, dismissed the JIM's findings about Khan Sheikhoun as "mythical or invented", asking how Syria could be blamed since investigators never visited the town or the air base where the sarin attack was claimed to have been launched.

"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. Later, the United States reviewed its draft to include some of the provisions from the Russian document.

"It's absolutely crucial for the mandate to be renewed", Matthew Rycroft, the United Kingdom ambassador to the UN, told reporters Wednesday.

Syria agreed to destroy its chemical weapons in 2013 under a deal brokered by Russian Federation and the United States.

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