UN joint mechanism on alleged chemical attacks in Syria formally ends activities
The joint mechanism of the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for investigating chemical attacks in Syria has formally ended its activities. On Friday, the UN Security Council failed to adopt a new resolution on the extension of the UN-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM). Russia and Bolivia voted against Japan's new draft. The JIM has been probing alleged chemical weapons attacks in Syria, including the April incident in Idlib province, which killed up to 100 people. The JIM's reports have been backing Washington's evidence-free accusations against the government of Syrian leader Bashar Assad. Russia has repeatedly criticized the JIM mission for relying on unverifiable testimonies of unidentified individuals, and failing to investigate the site of the attack itself in the first place. The Russian ambassador to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya, said on Friday that the JIM has covered itself with shame by putting forward groundless charges against Damascus. He said Moscow vetoed the Japanese draft resolution on a technical prolongation of the JIM mandate for 30 days, as it could not accept the continued performance of the commission in its current manner.