France, Britain, the US, and Germany demand UN extend mandate on Syria chemical probe while Russia says there is not enough evidence.
Russia is opposing a draft United Nations resolution to extend the mandate of an international inquiry into chemical weapons attacks in Syria.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov’s remarks on Wednesday that the country would not support the resolution came a few hours after Russia rejected a report by the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) blaming the Syrian government for a deadly toxic gas attack.
US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said: “There can now be no higher priority for the Security Council than to renew the Joint Investigative Mechanism.
“Anyone who prevents us from achieving this goal is aiding and abetting those who have been using chemical weapons in Syria.”
However the Russian Deputy Permanent Representative Vladimir Safronkov told the hearing that he didn’t believe the JIM report carried much clout.
He said: “It is not by chance that the text, including the part about analysing what happened in Khan Shaykhun is full of expressions such as ‘possibly, probably, might be, suppose, most likely.’
“Mr Mulet, do you really think this kind of terminology is acceptable in a report on such a serious matter? Wouldn’t it have been more honest to report to the Security Council that it was not possible for the JIM to conduct a fully-fledged report?”
Meanwhile the Syrian government accused U.S. and Turkish troops of illegally invading the country.
Bouthaina Shaaban, a top advisor to the Syrian Government said: “Turkey today is a colonizer country, its forces on our soil are illegal, just as the American forces are on our soil illegally.
She also said that Damascus would not give up on the northern city of Raqqa, which was liberated from Islamic State last month by the U.S.-backed, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).