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War crimes prosecutor Del Ponte joins Syria probe

Associated Press Modified: September 28, 2012 at 3:01 pm •  Published: September 28, 2012

Members of the 47-nation Human Rights Council voted 41 to three in favor of a resolution put forward by Arab states to extend the panel's mission until the council's next session in March. Russia, China and Cuba opposed the resolution and three countries abstained.

Syria's ambassador, Faysal Khabbaz Hamoui, denounced the resolution and lashed out at those who backed it — in particular Arab states who are funding Syrian opposition fighters.

"They have decided to draft a resolution that is very tolerant to al-Qaida," he said, insisting that Syria will "never become an extremist Islamic emirate."

The U.S. ambassador, Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe, said that the investigative panel "has been doing its job" — notably to turn up information that could one day be used to prosecute those behind Syria's bloodshed.

The panel's members "will help ensure that this will not be a case where impunity prevails, but rather that those responsible for these crimes against the Syrian people will face justice and accountability," she said.