A US-draft resolution aimed at extending the life of an investigation by one year into the use of chemical weapons by Syria's government hit a snag after Russia used its veto power at the UN Security Council to block its adoption, BBC News reported.

This is the ninth time Russia has vetoed against recommended action on its ally, Syria. A report on the Sarin gas attack in Khan Sheikum was due to be tabled on Thursday by the joint UN organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons (OPCW), which was the investigating body.

The Chemical Attack, which occurred in April, was carried out on an opposition-allied village, killing more than 87 people, including children.

The US, France, and Britain have accused the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad of being behind the attack.

US reaction

After Russia's action, US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, released a statement accusing Russia of taking sides with terrorists and dictators who used chemical weapons against innocent citizens. The statement added that Russia had clearly demonstrated that it would stop at nothing to ensure the "barbaric" Syrian regime did not face the consequences for the continued use of chemical weapons.

The Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM), was formed by Russia and the US to identify the culprit behind the deadly chemical weapon attacks which have occurred regularly during Syria's six-year civil war.

Last year, the JIM's mandate was extended by the UN Security Council, and a further renewal was necessary this year, as the panel's mandate expires on November 17th. During the vote, 11 countries voted in favor of extending the investigating body's mandate by another year, Russia and Bolivia voted against, while China and Kazakstan abstained from the vote.

Russia's defense

Russia's Ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, said the country's action did not mean the investigation would be shut down. He said Russia needed to review the mandate of the JIM to ensure its investigation was impartial. Nebenzia added that the vote would come up again for consideration in the coming weeks.

Another statement released by Russia's Foreign Ministry said Moscow had the right to study the about-to-be-released report, before reaching a decision to extend JIM's mandate. The Ministry accused the US of trying to "impose" its position.

A UN Security Council resolution vote requires only nine votes to sail through, but five countries; Russia, France, Britain, China and the US, can use their veto power to block the adoption of a resolution.