A Syrian man collects samples from the site of a suspected toxic gas attack in Khan Sheikhoun, in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province, on April 5, 2017. / AFP / Omar haj Kadour
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Russia's U.N. ambassador said Wednesday the expert body that has determined responsibility for chemical weapons attacks in Syria "is dead" -- but Moscow is ready to discuss "a new mechanism".Russia vetoed two council resolutions last week to keep the JIM in operation, and this week it rejected a Swedish-Uruguayan draft resolution before it went to a vote to revive the joint investigative body of the U.N. and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.Syria has denied any use of chemical weapons, while Russia has accused the JIM of using faulty methods to determine that President Bashar Assad's government was to blame for the attacks, including not visiting Khan Sheikhoun.It is not mandated to determine who was responsible for chemical attacks, which is why the U.S. and Russia jointly sponsored the resolution in 2015 that established the JIM.
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