A report accuses President Bashar Al-Assad's younger brother of ordering the chemical attacks that killed more than a thousand Syrians two weeks ago. But Maher al-Assad hasn't been seen for over a year, and some question whether he's even alive.
Russia has blocked a US-drafted resolution to renew a mandate of the body investigating the use of chemical weapons in Syria. A rival, Russian-made motion was also blocked, leaving the future of the probe in question.
The panel created unanimously by the Security Council is due to end in mid-November. Russia has drawn criticism for the move, but says it must first review an upcoming report before allowing the probe to move forward.
A UN panel has confirmed the Syrian regime used sarin gas at Khan Sheikhun in April. The US responded to the attack by launching cruise missiles at a Syrian airbase.
The chemical weapons watchdog OPCW said sarin was used in an attack on a northern Syrian town five days before the banned nerve agent killed dozens in Khan Sheikhoun, prompting global outrage.
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