U.S. Ambassador: UN report says Syria uses banned sarin gas on civilians

Source: Xinhua| 2017-10-27 07:02:57|Editor: ZD
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UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces used the deadly, prohibited sarin gas in Khan Sheikhoun, Syria, earlier this year, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley to the UN said here on Thursday, quoting a UN report circulated in the Security Council.

"The findings issued today by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and United Nations' Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) have concluded that the Assad regime used chemical weapons on over 100 innocent civilians, using the poison gas sarin in Khan Sheikhoun, Syria, on April 4, 2017," she said in a statement issued here at UN Headquarters.

Haley said that "The JIM also determined that ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) was responsible for using the chemical weapon sulfur mustard in an attack that took place on Sept. 16, 2016, in Um-Housh, Syria."

"Time and again we see independent confirmation of chemical weapons use by the Assad regime and in spite of these independent reports, we still see some countries trying to protect the regime. That must end now," she added.

Her remarks appeared directed at Russia, which vetoed a Security Council resolution on Tuesday renewing the JIM mandate.

Russia's Ambassador to the UN Vassily Nebenzia said Moscow was against the draft resolution because it wanted to see the JIM report before he voted to extend JIM for another year.

The Russian ambassador had proposed adjourning the Tuesday meeting until Nov. 7, saying his delegation wanted to wait for the JIM report on the chemical attacks before extending its mandate, adding that the council should discuss the work of JIM and then vote on renewing its mandate.

Doing it the other way would be "putting the cart before the horse," the Russian diplomat said.