The UN Security Council voted unanimously Friday to set up a panel to identify who is behind deadly chlorine gas attacks in Syria.
Under discussion for months, the resolution sets up a team of experts tasked with identifying the perpetrators of the chemical weapons attacks and paves the way for possible sanctions to punish them.
Syria’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari said that the Syrian government is not responsible for the chemical attacks, noting that it sent dozens of letters, provided with evidence, about the terrorist groups’ use of chemical against l the Syrian army and citizens.
Al-Jaafari added that Syria has been committed to the Chemical Weapons Prohibition agreement, pointing out that the implementation of the UN Security Council resolution requires authenticity, transparency, non-politicization and full cooperation with the Syrian government.
The investigative panel will be given “full access” to all locations in Syria and allowed to interview witnesses and collect materials, according to the resolution passed Friday.
It mandates the panel to “identify to the greatest extent feasible individuals, entities, groups or governments who were perpetrators, organizers, sponsors or otherwise involved in the use of chemicals as weapons” in Syria.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is tasked with assembling the team within 20 days, working with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which is based in The Hague.
The panel would present its first findings to the council 90 days after it begins its work, which would be for a duration of one year.