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UN adopts resolution on Syria chemical weapons probe

The UN Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution to establish a panel to determine who used chemical weapons in Syria, Anadolu reported on Friday.

Speaking to the council, US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power said that the resolution's unanimous adoption sent "a clear and powerful message to all those involved in chemical weapons attacks" in Syria.

"We all know that we currently lack an effective mechanism for holding criminally accountable those responsible," she stated, "but when the day comes that we have one, and that day will come, the evidence gathered by the joint investigative mechanism will stand as a record not just for what has been done but who has done it."

US draft resolution asked UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Organisation for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to set up a joint investigative panel within 20 days to identify attackers, who used chlorine and other toxic agents in Syria.

It sanctions the panel "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 the war-torn country.

It also paved the way for holding to account specific organisations or individuals responsible for the deadly chlorine gas attacks.

The resolution came to a vote after months of discussions with Russia, an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and has protected his regime from any Security Council action during the four-year civil war that has left at least 250,000 people dead.

Its adoption is considered a shift in Moscow's stance regarding UN action on Syria.

Early on Monday, Human Rights Watch called on the Security Council to hold those involved in the use of chemical weapons accountability and working to prosecute them.

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International OrganisationsMiddle EastNewsSyriaUN
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