United Nations: A disarmament expert from Argentina has been appointed to head an independent panel tasked with determining who is behind chemical weapons attacks in Syria, the United Nations said Tuesday.
Virginia Gamba, who has been the director of the UN disarmament office for the past two years, will work with two deputies during the one-year mission to assign responsibility for the use of the banned deadly agents.
The UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution in August setting up the joint investigation in a rare display of unity over how to address the four-year war.
After some delay over Russia`s reservations with the panel`s mandate, the mission got the final go-ahead from the council last week.
Gamba has been working in the area of disarmament for more than 30 years, working with think tanks and also helped with two previous missions on chemical weapons in Syria.
The panel will work with The Hague-based Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
The United States pushed for the UN chemical weapons probe after a wave of chlorine gas attacks that the West blames on President Bashar al-Assad`s forces.
A key Assad ally, Moscow has maintained that there is no concrete proof that the attacks were carried out by regime forces.
The panel is to report to the Security Council on its first findings 90 days after it begins work.