Khan Sheikhoun—More than 500 victims have been reported to have suffered from the chemical attack last April 4, in the city of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province—a rebel-held town in Northwestern Syria. A rough estimate of 70 to 80% of the victims were composed of women and children.
According to CNN, doctors are currently looking through the possibility that Sarin Gas, was the chemical that struck Khan Sheikhoun. The production of this chemical has been prohibited by the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993 for it’s effect as a nerve agent that disrupts the operations of human organs—such as but not limited to—the control of respiratory muscles resulting to asphyxiation.
Leaders of different nations around the world were alarmed and were furious about the incident. The United Nations Security Council has scheduled an emergency session on April 12, to vote for the adoption and implementation of a resolution that will strengthen the investigation on the chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun.
This resolution will also condemn the chemical attacks in Syria including the call to the Syrian government to comply with the recommended standards of Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapon’s (OPCW), Fact Finding Mission (FFM) and the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM).
However, the UN Security Council failed to adopt the said resolution drafted by the United States, United Kingdom and France—3 of the 5 permanent members of the Council. While 10 out of 15 voted in favor of adopting the resolution, a member with a status of permanent, can prevent the adoption from happening. In this case, Russia is the permanent member that voted against the resolution
Russia and China has previously vetoed and blocked a resolution seeking imposition of sanctions on entities associated with chemical weapons. Both countries believe that it is the responsibility of the UN’s Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapon’s Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) to regulate them.