Russia blocked a U.S.-written resolution at the United Nations Security Council on Thursday that would have extended an international investigation into chemical weapons use in Syria, angering diplomats who said Moscow was making it difficult to prevent future attacks.

The Russian veto is the 10th that Moscow has made to protect its ally, the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. It means that the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM), a body formed to learn who was responsible for chemical weapons attacks on civilians in Syria, expires at midnight Thursday. The U.S. proposal sought to extend it for another year.

The Security Council vote became another flash point in the deteriorating U.S.-Russia relationship, as representatives from Washington and Moscow each blamed the other for causing the investigatory panel to die. The vote came just a few hours after President Trump urged the renewal of the JIM, tweeting that it was needed “to ensure that Assad Regime does not commit mass murder with chemical weapons ever again.”


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