New UN resolution mulled on mechanism for probing suspected chemical attacks in Syria

Updated 2018-04-17 15:32:58 Xinhua

A number of members of the United Nations Security Council are considering a draft resolution that would address the mechanisms for investigating the suspected chemical weapons attacks in Syria, diplomatic sources said on Monday.

The United Kingdom, France, the United States on Saturday handed over to other Council members a new draft resolution on Syria, which is expected to address the chemical weapons issue, as well as the political and humanitarian problems, sources said.

The new draft resolution is believed to propose independent investigations into the reported chemical attacks in Syria. Besides, it calls for ensuring humanitarian access to besieged areas, ceasefire and also requires the participation of Damascus in peace negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations.

On April 10, the Council failed to adopt either of the two Russia-drafted and one U.S.-drafted resolutions, calling for an investigation into the recently reported chemical attack in the Syrian city of Douma in the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta, as diplomats from Russia and the United States vetoed each other's drafts.

On Friday night, the United States, France and the United Kingdom launched strikes on a number of targets in Syria in response to the alleged chemical attack in Douma on April 7.

The Western powers have accused the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad of the attack with the use of chemical weapons in Douma. The Syrian government denied any involvement in the attack and invited the experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to investigate into the reports.

The U.S.-led allied attacks sparked an emergency Security Council meeting on Saturday and a failed vote on a resolution condemning the raids.

The rare Saturday session was convened at Russia's request only about 14 hours after the U.S., British and French bombardment began.

The attacks were carried out despite the arrival of a fact-finding mission in Damascus on Saturday.

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