Russia vetoes new panel to probe Syrian chemical weapons use

Russia vetoes new panel to probe Syrian chemical weapons use
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Russia on Tuesday rejected a measure in the United Nations Security Council that would have created a new investigative body to examine suspected chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

The U.S.-led resolution, vetoed by Russia's U.N. envoy, would have condemned the use of chemical weapons and established a panel to determine responsibility for their alleged use in Syria.

The veto from Russia was largely expected. Vassily Nebenzia, the Russian ambassador to the U.N., said a day earlier that the resolution contained "some unacceptable elements."


As one of the council's five permanent member states, Russia holds veto power over any resolution. 

The resolution to create the investigative mechanism came days after a suspected chemical weapons strike in the Damascus suburb of Douma left dozens of people dead. 

The U.S. has said that the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad is responsible for the attack. Moscow, however, has denied the Syrian government was behind the strike, and has instead said the attack was staged by militants.

Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyGraham says SC people of color can go anywhere in the state but 'need to be conservative, not liberal' 'The soul' versus 'law and order' Author Ryan Girdusky: RNC worked best when highlighting 'regular people' as opposed to 'standard Republicans' MORE, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., condemned Russia's veto on Tuesday, saying that Moscow had chosen Assad over the Security Council.

"The record will not be kind to one permanent member of this council. Unfortunately, Russia has chosen the Assad regime again over the unity of this council," Haley said. "We have said it before that Russia will stop at nothing to shield the Assad regime."

Her statement comes a day after she issued a blistering condemnation of Russia over the alleged chemical attack, saying Moscow's hands are "covered in the blood" of Syrian children.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Monday that specialists sent by Moscow to Douma had determined that no chemical weapons were used in the area, contradicting the findings of aid workers.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump admin to announce coronavirus vaccine will be covered under Medicare, Medicaid: report Election officials say they're getting suspicious emails that may be part of malicious attack on voting: report McConnell tees up Trump judicial pick following Supreme Court vote MORE on Monday said he would make a decision in the next 48 hours regarding a potential military response to the alleged chemical strike in Douma.

The Joint Investigative Mechanism, which was established in 2015 to look into chemical weapons use in Syria, came to an end last year after Russia voted in the Security Council not to renew its mandate.