Russia on Tuesday vetoed a United Nations resolution, drafted by the United States, to extend for a year the investigation to determine who was behind the chemical attacks in Syria in April, which had killed more than 100 civilians. This was the ninth time Moscow used its veto power at the UN Security Council to thwart action against its Syrian ally, according to AFP.

A joint panel of the UN and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons was due to submit its report on the sarin gas attack in Syria’s Khan Sheikhun on Thursday. But with its veto power, Russia blocked the renewal of the panel’s mandate to investigate the devastating strike.

“Russia has once again demonstrated it will do whatever it takes to ensure the barbaric Assad regime never faces consequences for its continued use of chemicals as weapons,” US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said, accusing Moscow of “once again” supporting “the dictators and terrorists who use these weapons”.

Late in April, a declassified French intelligence report had said that forces allied with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had carried out the sarin nerve gas attack on April 4. Assad or members of his administration were reported to have ordered the deadly attack In September, a UN-appointed commission had confirmed that sarin gas – a highly toxic nerve agent – was used in the strike in Idlib province.

Days after the attack, the United States carried out targeted missile strikes in Syria, which killed six personnel and caused “big material losses”.