UNSC to vote Friday on Syria chemical weapons probe

Security Council hopes to determine responsibles for using chemical weapons in Syria

UNSC to vote Friday on Syria chemical weapons probe

World Bulletin / News Desk

The UN Security Council will vote on Friday on a draft resolution that would set up a panel to determine who is responsible for deadly chlorine gas attacks in Syria, diplomats said.

The vote was scheduled after US Secretary of State John Kerry won backing from Russia for the measure, in a rare sign of cooperation from the Damascus ally over how to address the conflict in Syria.

Under discussion for months, the US-drafted resolution would set up a team of experts who will identify the perpetrators of the chemical weapons attacks, paving the way for possible sanctions.

The resolution mandates the panel jointly set up with the OPCW chemical weapons watchdog to "identify to the greatest extent feasible individuals, entities, groups, or governments who were perpetrators, organisers, sponsors or otherwise involved in the use of chemicals as weapons including chlorine or any other toxic chemical" in Syria.

The United States and its allies have repeatedly accused President Bashar al-Assad's forces of carrying out chlorine gas attacks with barrel bombs thrown from helicopters.

The three countries argue that only the Syrian regime has helicopters, but Russia maintains there is no solid proof that Damascus is behind the attacks.

"So what we are trying to do is to get beyond the mere finding of the fact that it may have been used, and actually find out who used it, and designate accountability for its use," Kerry told reporters in Malaysia earlier.

Kerry said he agreed with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the measure during their meeting on Wednesday.

The measure would task UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to set up the team with the Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) within 20 days.

The panel would present its first findings to the council 90 days after it begins its work.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 07 Ağustos 2015, 17:29