UNITED NATIONS The U.N. Security Council is expected to unanimously approve a resolution Friday aimed at identifying those responsible for using chlorine and other chemical weapons in attacks in Syria that have killed and injured a growing number of civilians.
While Russia and the United States have failed to agree on a way to end the Syrian conflict, now in its fifth year, they have agreed on eliminating the country's chemical weapons. The draft resolution fills a gap in assigning blame for chemical weapon attacks so the perpetrators can be brought to justice.
The Security Council is scheduled to vote at Friday, just two days after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reached agreement on the text. The 13 other council members had until Thursday morning to raise objections and none did.
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the global chemical weapons watchdog, has a mandate to carry out fact-finding missions to determine whether chemical attacks occurred in Syria. But neither the organization nor the United Nations has a mandate to determine responsibility.
The final draft of the resolution, obtained by The Associated Press, asks U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in coordination with OPCW Director-General Ahmet Uzumcu, to submit to the council within 20 days recommendations to establish a joint investigative body.