US Slams Russian Veto After OPCW Syria Alleged Attack Probe Fails to Find Blame

© AFP 2022 / TIMOTHY A. CLARY Foreign Ministers vote during a UN Security Council meeting on Syria at the United Nations in New York on December 18, 2015
Foreign Ministers vote during a UN Security Council meeting on Syria at the United Nations in New York on December 18, 2015 - Sputnik International
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The US State Department blamed Russia in a statement on Thursday for using Security Council veto to block the renewal of a United Nations chemical probe in Syria after the investigation failed to determine who was behind an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria in February.

"The OPCW’s Fact-Finding Mission does not attribute responsibility for an attack. Unfortunately, Russia has vetoed the renewal of Joint Investigative Mechanism, which was the only impartial and independent body with the mandate for attributing responsibility, at the UN Security Council five times," the statement said.

A laboratory technician controls a test vial at the OPCW (The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) headquarters in the Hague, The Netherlands, on April 20, 2017 - Sputnik International
OPCW Report on 'Chemical Attack' in Syria Feb. 4 Bewildering - Russian MoD
Previously, several media outlets and Western countries accused Damascus of using chemical weapons in the Syrian town of Douma on April 7. The Syrian government and Russia have refuted the allegations, saying that it was staged by local militants and the White Helmets non-governmental organization. The Syrian government had also invited the experts from OPCW to investigate the reports.

On April 10, the UN Security Council failed to adopt either of the two Russian-drafted resolutions or the one drafted by the United States which were calling for an investigation into the reported chemical attack — the diplomats from both sides had used their veto power.

Labels of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) are seen iside a damaged house in Douma in Damascus, Syria April 23, 2018 - Sputnik International
OPCW Experts Take Probes at Site of Alleged Douma Attack - Zakharova
Earlier, the Russian Center for Syrian Reconciliation representatives inspected the location of the alleged attack and questioned local doctors, who said that they had not received individuals with symptoms of chemical poisoning.

However, the United States, the UK and France launched missile strikes against Syria as a response to the alleged chemical attack, despite the lack of evidence. The strike was launched on April 14, same day the OPCW mission was set to visit the sites.

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