Syria: UN blames Assad regime over chemical-attack that killed 80
27 Oct 2017
On 27 October, a UN report blamed the Bashar al-Assad-regime in Syria for a chemical attack on a rebel-held town on April 4, 2017, that killed 80 people.
The report's authors say they are confident that the Assad regime used the Sarin nerve agent in Khan Sheikhoun, located in north-west Syria.
Both Assad and his ally Russia have repeatedly said the attack was fabricated.
Syria chemical attacks inquiry: UNSC to vote
17 Nov 2017
The UN Security Council is scheduled to vote today on a US-sponsored resolution extending the inquiry into chemical attacks carried out during the Syrian War.
Meanwhile, Russia, has put forth a rival draft resolution.
This is happening as the mandate of the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) set up by the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), expires by midnight.
Why do US and Russia differ on the matter?
Both US and Russia seek a unanimous UNSC backing to extend the JIM's mandate for another year.
Washington blames the Assad regime for carrying out chemical attacks on civilians, Russia backs Syria which denies complicity in the attacks.
Kremlin has been critical of the JIM's report and wants its findings to be put aside in favor of another "full-scale and high-quality investigation."
Will Russia exercise veto again?
A UNSC resolution can only be passed with at least 9 votes in favor and no vetoes.
Russia has so far vetoed UNSC resolutions on Syria 9 times, including a previous US-sponsored resolution seeking a one year extension for the JIM's mandate.
While sources reveal that Washington has amended its draft to secure Kremlin's backing, chances are that Russia will veto the resolution.
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