(CNN) - Russia vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution on Thursday that would have renewed a mandate for the independent group investigating chemical weapons attacks in Syria.
Russia's move drew harsh criticism from US Ambassador Nikki Haley, who said Russia had struck a "deep blow" to UN efforts to identify those using chemical weapons and deter future attacks.
France, which voted in favor of renewing the mandate for the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM), also expressed alarm."It promises great difficulties for the future," French Ambassador François Delattre told the council.
In April, more than 80 people were killed in a sarin attack on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun -- an attack that prompted the United States to launch 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian airbase.