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Russia Negotiating UN Measure On Chemical Weapons Use In Iraq

Russia is seeking to extend a United Nations measure on chemical weapons in Syria to cover suspected incidents of chemical weapons use in Iraq by the Islamic State group, Russia's UN ambassador said on September 2.

Vitaly Churkin said he is "exploring with the Iraqi government" whether to extend to Iraq a measure aimed at identifying groups that have used chemical weapons in Syria.

There have been reports that IS fighters used mustard gas in attacks last month against Kurdish fighters in Iraq, and in the northern Syrian town of Marea, near Aleppo.

"Clearly, it should be a concern because [Islamic State] does not recognize borders," Churkin said, adding that a new UN resolution might be needed to address chemical weapons use in Iraq.

Russia holds the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council this month and has delayed council action launching the Syrian investigation until Iraq's inclusion is decided.

Council diplomats said Moscow appeared to want the investigation to have a greater emphasis on alleged chemical attacks by IS as that is an area where the Russian-backed Syrian government could be helpful in identifying the culprits.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, Reuters, and Interfax

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