The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved a resolution demanding that Syria go through with its pledge to eliminate its stocks of chemical weapons and warning Damascus of "consequences" if it does not comply.
The 15-member body voted late Friday in favor of the resolution, which was based on a Russian-U.S. deal hammered out in Geneva earlier this month.
The vote came hours after The Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons approved a plan drawn up by Washington and Moscow for destroying Syria's chemical arsenal.
The resolution, however, does not threaten Syria's government with automatic punitive action, such as military strikes or sanctions, if Damascus does not comply.
Washington had wanted the threat of such action, under Chapter 7 of the U.N. charter, to be included in the resolution but Russian opposition made that impossible.
A second Security Council resolution would be required to authorize punitive measures.
The resolution said the Security Council was "deeply outraged by the use of chemical weapons" in an Aug. 21 attack on Damascus' outskirts, as confirmed by U.N. inspectors.
The United States, backed by France and Britain, blames President Bashar al-Assad's forces for that nerve-gas attack, which killed hundreds of civilians, and had threatened to carry out a "limited" strike in retaliation.
The Russia-U.S. deal averted that planned punitive action.
Russia and close ally Syria say anti-government rebels carried out the chemical weapons attack as a provocation.
Assad has called the U.S. accusations "an insult to common sense," saying it would have been illogical to order a chemical attack with U.N. weapons inspectors already in the country and government forces holding the upper hand in the armed conflict.
U.S. President Barack Obama had said last year that the use of chemical weapons by Damascus would constitute the crossing of a red line and trigger possible U.S. military intervention in Syria's conflict.
Syria's civil war has claimed some 100,000 lives since March 2011. EFE