Trump urges United Nations council to renew Syria chemical arms inquiry

A sarin gas attack on April 4 triggered global outrage as images of dying children were shown worldwide prompting the United States to launch missile strikes on a Syrian air base a few days later

Russian Federation has vetoed the US-initiated draft resolution of the United Nations Security Council on extending the mandate of the Joint Investigative Mechanism of the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in Syria.

The Security Council is set to vote on dueling proposals from the USA and Russian Federation on how to proceed with their investigation into the chemical attacks in Syria.

If the Security Council can not agree on a renewal, its mandate will expire at midnight Thursday.

"It promises great difficulties for the future", the French representative told the council.

Russian Federation has sharply criticised the JIM after its latest report blamed the Syrian air force for a sarin gas attack on the opposition-held village of Khan Sheikhun that left scores dead.

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A joint report from the United Nations and worldwide chemical weapons inspectors last month determined the Syrian regime was responsible for the attack. Meanwhile, the Russian-drafted resolution-which calls for a "re-evaluation" of the Khan Sheikhoun findings- is unlikely to garner the nine votes required for adoption in the council.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday urged the U.N. Security Council to renew an global inquiry into chemical weapons attacks in Syria ahead of planned votes on rival U.S. and Russian Federation resolutions that could spark Moscow's 10th veto on Syria action. "Not doing so would only give consent to such atrocities while tragically failing the Syrian people who have suffered from these despicable acts".

The JIM experts also said they were "confident" the Islamic State extremist group was responsible for an attack at Um Hosh in Aleppo in September 2016 using mustard gas.

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. The US resolution was supported by 11 members of the Council.

Nebenzia said Monday, "It is important that the JIM is renewed but on an updated mandate because the systemic errors that we saw with the recent report should be corrected, and that's the aim of our resolution". And it welcomes the "full and profound cooperation" extended by the Syrian government in establishing facts related to the Khan Sheikhoun and Um Hosh attacks. And it would ask Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to recruit experienced staff from as wide a geographical basis "as practicable".

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