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UNSC to vote on Syria chem gas attacks probe

UNSC to vote on Syria chem gas attacks probe

President Donald Trump is pressing for the United Nations Security Council to extend the mandate of experts trying to determine who was responsible for chemical attacks in Syria.

The vote is scheduled for 2000 GMT, just hours before the mandate of the so-called JIM expires at midnight.

Trump says on Twitter he needs "all" on the council to renew the so-called JIM "to ensure that Assad Regime does not commit mass murder with chemical weapons ever again".

It was the tenth time that Russian Federation has used its veto power to stop council action that targeted its ally Syria.

Jaberi Ansari, for his part, said Syria's resilience and the consecutive successes it has achieved on the war on terrorism as well as the restoration of security to all the Syrian cities and areas would be a victory not only to the Syrian people, but also to the Iranian people and all other peoples who believe in their right to defending their countries, independence and sovereign decision.

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

A spokesperson for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations said late Monday that "Russia is mouthing words of support for JIM renewal, but those words are not backed up by any actions". 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.

Russia Demands that US Respect Agreement on Antiterrorism in Syria
UN Security Council rejects Bolivia's draft resolution on chemical attacks probe in Syria

The attack on April 4 triggered global outrage as images of dying children were shown worldwide, prompting the United States to launch a missile strike on a Syrian air base a few days later.

The United States and Russia, Syria's ally, have put forward rival draft resolutions on renewing the mandate of the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM), tasked with investigating Syria's toxic gas attacks.

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".

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

"Let there be no doubt: we have unleashed a monster here", said Delattre.

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

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