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UK, France push for Security Council ban on helicopter sales to Syria

December 28, 2016, 6:50 UTC+3 UN

The draft resolution bans "supplies, sales or transfer" of any helicopters or their spare parts to armed forces, ministries, agencies and individuals linked to the Syrian government

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UN, December 28. /TASS/. The United Kingdom and France have prepared a draft UN resolution to sanction Syria for alleged chemical attacks, prohibiting sales of any helicopters to the country’s government, army and administrative bodies.

The resolution is based on a joint investigation by the United Nations and the international chemical weapons watchdog, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical weapons (OPCW) that blames the Syrian government for at least three chlorine gas attacks, during which military helicopters were used to throw canisters with the toxic substance. The report also blames the Islamic State terrorist group (outlawed in Russia) for at least one attack involving mustard gas.

Russia, a veto-wielding Security Council member, has repeatedly questioned the conclusions of the probe, conducted by the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) and said the commission’s findings cannot serve as a basis for sanctions.

The draft resolution, obtained by TASS, will introduce a total ban on "supplies, sales or transfer" of any helicopters or their spare parts to armed forces, ministries, agencies and individuals linked to the Syrian government.

The resolution, if adopted, would impose asset freezes and travel bans on 11 Syrians and 10 Syrian organizations and companies allegedly involved in chemical attacks.

The resolution also sets up a special committee of six experts to monitor compliance with sanctions.

It also calls on the Syrian government to prepare and hand over to the OPCW a full list of poisonous substances currently in possession of Damascus. The previous declaration, submitted by the Syrian authorities in September 2013, cannot be considered accurate and full, the resolution says.

Syria’s agreed to hand over its declared stockpile of 1,300 metric tons of chemical agents to the international community in 2013, following a deal between Moscow and Washington sealed by the UN Security Council resolution 2118.

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