Syria: Extension of probes concerning chemical attacks blocked by Russia

A UN security council which would have considered the nerve gas attack that the town of Khan Sheikhoun which came under in April that resulted in the death of over 70 people has been vetoed by Russia. This is on record the tenth time that Russia has exercised its veto powers at the United Nations, showing its support for its ally since the inception of the conflict.

Nikki Haley, the ambassador of the US to the UN has accused Russia of playing down the ability of the organization to chemical attacks that may occur in the future.

Criticisms dismissed by the Russian ambassador

In 2015, the Joint Investigative Mechanism was put together to name and identify persons who were responsible for the chemical attacks. JIM so far has been the only official mission that has been set to look into chemical weapons use in Syria.

Moscow weighed in strong criticisms on the inquiries that were made when it placed blame on the government of Syria for the attack of the nerve agent on Khan Sheikhoun back in April. Syria, however, has denied their ever using banned chemical weapons.

What do we know about the Joint Investigative Mechanism?

The organization was established two years ago, in 2015. Its forming was with unanimous backing an agreement by the Security Council of the UN, and it was renewed in 2016, and a year after that.

In the execution of its functions, the United Nations and the organization that is responsible for the prohibition of Chemical Weapons are involved.

The group has previously come to the conclusion that the government of Syria employed Chlorine as a weapon for not less than three times between 2014 and through 2015.

It discovered that militants of the Islamic State made use of Sulphur mustard in an attack they carried out.

The council of security had rejected a resolution that was drafted by Russia to extend the inquiry but with little alternations in the panel’s membership. The draft also requested the sidelining of all findings that emerged from the panel’s investigation on the attacks that happened in Khan Sheikhoun.