The United States and Russia agreed late Wednesday on the text of a resolution in the United Nations Security Council aimed at identifying those behind chemical weapons attacks in Syria.
The resolution calls on UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon and the UN’s global chemical weapons watchdog to organize a team of investigators to track down the perpetrators.
Those behind the toxic gas attacks, which involved the use of lethal sarin nerve gas, were responsible for the torturous deaths of thousands of Syrians.
The elimination of Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons was allegedly to have been completed in August 2014.
The Obama administration announced in August 2014 that U.S. military and civilian personnel had completed the destruction of the Syrian government’s declared chemical weapons stockpile.
The destruction was carried out under the auspices of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the United Nations.
Early in July 2014, a Danish container ship transferred 620 tons of substances used as precursors for sarin and other chemical weapons to the MV Cape Ray in the Italian port of Gioia Tauro. The American vessel then made for international waters in the Mediterranean Sea where it used custom-made equipment to diffuse the chemical agents into polluted water.
The neutralization of the chemical agents aboard an American ship was ballyhooed as a “watershed moment” in the years-long Syrian civil war.
President Barack Obama said in a statement at the time that it advanced “our collective goal to ensure that the Assad regime cannot use its chemical arsenal against the Syrian people and sends a clear message that the use of these abhorrent weapons has consequences and will not be tolerated by the international community.”
Secretary of State John Kerry added, somewhat more cautiously, that there were still “discrepancies and omissions related to Syria’s chemical weapons declaration.” He also pointed out that Syrian government troops continued to use chlorine gas against the country’s citizens.
Likewise, Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby also pointed out that the international community’s work to “completely” eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons program was “not yet finished.”
The new UN Security Council resolution proposed by the United States is ultimately aimed at bringing the chemical weapons murderers in Syria to justice. The Council is expected to vote Friday on the resolution, which was proposed by the United States.