Iraq News

UN to discuss Syria gas attacks probe extension

The UN Security Council is to discuss on Thursday (October 27th) a US-drafted measure that would allow the mandate of the joint panel of the UN and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to continue for a year, AFP reported.

Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said he wanted a "serious discussion" about the fate of the panel and that the mandate should not be rolled over as a technicality.

The draft resolution notes that the OPCW is investigating new allegations of chemical weapons use in Syria and states that those responsible for such attacks must be held accountable.

The OPCW investigates alleged chemical attacks but its mandate does not allow it to determine who is responsible for the use.

The Security Council agreed to set up the so-called joint investigative mechanism (JIM) in August 2015 to determine who was behind a series of alleged chemical attacks on Syrian villages in 2014 and 2015.

The panel concluded in its last two reports that the Syrian regime had carried out three attacks using toxic gases, most likely chlorine, and that the "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL) had used mustard gas as a weapon.

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