The UN Security Council was to vote yesterday on a US-drafted resolution that would extend for a year an worldwide probe to determine who is behind chemical attacks in Syria's six-year war.
Ahead of the council vote, Trump on Thursday urged the Security Council to renew the inquiry, saying it was needed to prevent Assad from using chemical weapons. Along with Russia, Bolivia voted against the United States draft while China and Egypt abstained.
It means that the JIM's mandate expires at midnight Thursday, rather than be extended for another year.
Russia's move drew harsh criticism from US Ambassador Nikki Haley, who said Russian Federation had struck a "deep blow" to United Nations efforts to identify those using chemical weapons and deter future attacks.
It would mark the tenth time that Moscow has used its veto power at the council to block action targeting its ally Syria.
Later in November, the Russian Foreign Ministry accused the probe into April Khan Shaykhun's chemical incident of disregarding the Convention's guidelines and of "dilettantism". In late October, the JIM issued yet another reoport, a seventh in a row, to blame the April 4, 2017 sarin attack in Khan Sheikhun on the Syrian authorities and the September 16, 2016 attack involving the use of mustard gas in Maarat Umm Khawsh on militants of the terrorist group Islamic State (outlawed in Russia). The US draft text received 11 votes in favor, while Russian Federation and Bolivia voted against it and China and Egypt abstained.
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A competing measure by Russian Federation to renew for a year the mandate of the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) failed to garner enough support in the council, essentially spelling the end of the body tasked with identifying the perpetrators of chemical attacks.
The United States, Britain and France have insisted that the JIM should be allowed to continue its work and that dozens of other cases of chemical weapons use in Syria must be investigated.
"We are engaging with them", he said.
The mandate for the joint inquiry by the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which found the Syrian government used the banned nerve agent sarin in an April 4 attack, expires at midnight Thursday.
Previous reports by the JIM have found that Syrian government forces were responsible for chlorine attacks on three villages in 2014 and 2015.