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    Members of the UnitedMembers of the United Nations Security Council address a resolution to investigate the use of chemical weapons in Syria during a meeting at the UN headquarters in New York August 7, 2015.  Nations Security Council

    UNSC Resolution on Syria Chemical Weapons to Hinder Further Attacks

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    A UN Security Council resolution for an investigative body to identify and hold responsible the perpetrators of chemical weapon attacks in Syria will limit the possibility of further similar incidents, Russia’s envoy to the United Nations said Friday.

    UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, the 15-member Security Council voted unanimously in favor of a draft submitted by the United States just two days after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry reached an agreement on the text.

    "We believe that today's decision is primarily preventive in nature and will hinder the further use of toxic chemicals as weapons in Syria," Vitaly Churkin said following the vote.

    He added that Russia hoped that the new body would work "impartially, objectively and professionally."

    The resolution requests the UN Secretary-General to submit within 20 days recommendations for the creation of a Joint Investigative Mechanism of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the United Nations to identify and bring to justice "those individuals, entities, groups, or governments responsible for any use of chemicals as weapons, including chlorine or any other toxic chemical."

    Syria has been mired in a civil war since 2011, with government forces loyal to President Bashar Assad fighting opposition and radical Islamist militant groups, including the Nusra Front and Islamic State.

    After a sarin gas attack near Damascus killed hundreds of people in 2013, Syria joined the OPCW and agreed to destroy its chemical weapons arsenal. At the end of October 2014, the OPCW reported that nearly 98 percent of the chemical weapons in Syria had been removed and destroyed.

    In December 2014, the Syrian government told the OPCW that armed groups had seized several industrial areas in Syria where chlorine-containing substances were being stored. However, Washington and its allies still suspect Damascus of using chemical weapons.

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    Tags:
    chemical weapons, Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, Damascus, Syria, United States
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