MESOP NEWS “PUTIN THE GASMAN”: Russia Vetoes Further Inspection of Chemical Attacks

WEST KURDISTAN (SYRIA) – By Scott Lucas – October 25, 2017 – eawolrdview – Joint Investigative Mission likely to blame Assad regime for deadly April 2017 sarin attack. – Concerned that a forthcoming report will blame the Assad regime for an April nerve agent attack in northwest Syria, Russia has vetoed the extension of the mission investigating the use of chemical weapons.

The Joint Investigative Mission of the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons was unanimously approved by the Security Council in 2015 and renewed in 2016 for another year. Its mandate expires in mid-November.

Last year the JIM concluded that the Assad regime carried out three chlorine attacks, and the Islamic State a mustard attack, in northern Syria. It is due to report by Thursday on responsibility for the April 4 attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib Province, which killed at least 92 people and wounded hundreds.The OPCW has already determined that “sarin or a sarin-like substance” was in a munition that landed on the town. Witnesses said a Russian-made SU-22 jet dropped the canister. Russia and the Assad regime have tried to deflect attention with a series of contradictory, unsupported explanations.Moscow wanted to discuss the report before acting on the extension of the mandate, and its UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia unsuccessfully asked to postpone the vote: “Don’t try to create the impression that the JIM will be a dead letter unless we adopt this resolution today. We are ready to return to extending the JIM after the publication of the report and after we discuss it after the 26 of October.”

However, Russia has warned for weeks that it might block the continued work of the JIM, while being careful to say that this rested on the “quality of the report”, rather than its conclusions.Eleven of the 15 Security Council members voted to extend the mandate. China and Kazakhstan abstained, while Bolivia joined Russia in voting no.