Syria toxic gas inquiry report delayed; France, Britain urge UN action

September 23, 2016 03:24

UNITED NATIONS - The UN Security Council has given an international inquiry five more weeks to complete its report on who is to blame for toxic gas attacks in Syria as UN chief Ban Ki-moon, France, Britain and others push for those responsible to be punished.

The inquiry was due to submit its report this week, but Ban told the 15-member council in a letter, seen by Reuters on Thursday, that the inquiry needed extra time and wanted to delay its deadline until Oct. 21. The council has extended its mandate until Oct. 31.

In its most recent report to the Security Council last month, the joint United Nations and Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) inquiry said that Syrian government troops were responsible for two toxic gas attacks and Islamic State militants used sulfur mustard gas.

France, Britain and other council members want the body to act after receiving the next report, the inquiry's fourth.

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