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  • » 11/17/2017, 09.33

    SYRIA - RUSSIA - UN

    Moscow blocks the prolongation of UN investigations on Damascus's use of chemical weapons



    Russia exercises the right of veto in the Security Council. The US-led resolution calls for a 12-month extension of the joint committee's work. Today, a motion from Japan proposing the extension of 30 days. Tensions rise between Moscow and Washington.

    Damascus (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Russia has applied its veto at the UN Security Council by blocking a resolution aimed at extending an international investigation into the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian conflict. For the tenth time since the start of the war, President Bashar al-Assad's ally, Moscow has used his own power in the United Nations in support of Damascus.

    The United States immediately criticized Russia. In a note US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley accuses the Kremlin of dealing a "harsh blow" to the organization's ability to prevent future chemical attacks. Moscow’s representative rejected these claims.

    In 2015, the United Nations created an ad hoc body, the Joint Investigation Mechanism, to investigate the perpetrators of chemical weapons attacks. It is the only official mission to verify the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

    At the end of October, the joint panel accused the Syrian government of being  responsible for the deadliest attack on April 4 on the rebel battalion of Khan Sheikhoun, about 50km from Idlib, northwest of Syria, where chemical weapons were used. This report was subject to criticism from the Kremlin and its conclusions were rejected by Damascus.

    US Ambassador to the UN said Russia  "has killed the investigative mechanism which has overwhelming support of this council”. “By eliminating our ability to identify the attackers, Russia has undermined our ability to deter future attack” she said.

    In the context of the past investigations, the Joint Investigation Mechanism accused both the Syrian government and its opponents: Damascus used chlorine as a weapon on at least three occasions between 2014 and 2015; the militant jihadists used mustard gas in at least one attack.

    At the same time, the UN Security Council rejected a counter-resolution proposed by Russia seeking to extend the investigation, while modifying the composition of the panel. In addition, the Kremlin wanted to close the results of the Khan Sheikhoun attack, which killed 80 mostly civilians.

    Russian ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzi claimed that Western nations have been sabotaging the investigations. He spoke of an "anti-Damascus fever" and "manipulation" of the Joint Investigation Mechanism for "personal" purposes.

    Even Japan has intervened in the controversy that pits Moscow against the West. Tokyo has put forward a drafti UN resolution that calls for extending the work of the commission for 30 days. A period of time lower than the 12 months provided for in the US draft blocked by Russian rivals. The Security Council is due to vote on Tokyo’s counter-proposal later today.

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    See also

    21/11/2017 09:54:00 SYRIA - RUSSIA
    Syrian conflict, Putin and Assad celebrate success in fight against terrorism

    The Kremlin leader acclaims "results" achieved. For Moscow, the "definitive" defeat of the rebel groups is imminent and it is time to "shift" attention to the "political process". On Putin's agenda consultations with Trump and Qatari emir.



    07/09/2017 10:14:00 SYRIA - UN
    UN: Syria used sarin gas on Khan Sheikhoun

    According to experts, a government Su-22 jet dropped four bombs: three conventional ones and one with the Soviet chemical manufacturing agent. Damascus rejects accusations and speaks of fake news. De Mistura urges "political process": Damascus cannot declare victory and the rebels must accept their defeat.



    27/10/2017 09:39:00 SYRIA - UN
    UN: Syrian government used chemical weapons in Khan Sheikhoun attack

    The report elaborated by a panel of experts accuses Damascus of using sarin gas. US Ambassador to the UN: "A confirmation of what we knew for a long time". No comment from Damascus and Moscow. On November 28 a new round of UN peace talks in Geneva.



    24/01/2018 09:56:00 UN - SYRIA - RUSSIA - USA
    War of words between Russia and the United States on the use of chemical weapons in Syria

    According to Washington, the Damascus government used prohibited substances (and weapons) with the consent of its Russian ally. Moscow's immediate response, which rejects the accusations and hopes for the formation of a "truly independent" investigation mechanism. In Paris, 24 nations in the world are calling for a joint initiative against the use of chemical weapons.



    07/05/2013 SYRIA - UN
    UN falters on attributing use of chemical weapons by rebels
    The UN Commission of Inquiry on War Crimes confirms that you have not reached any " definitve conclusions “ on who used prohibited weapons. The media had given value to concluding statements of Commissioner Carla Dal Ponte against the rebels.



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