U.S. preparing new sanctions on Russian Federation over Syria, says Nikki Haley

Sergio Conner
April 16, 2018

New U.S. sanctions against Russian Federation are coming as soon as Monday to punish the country for its support of the Syrian regime, Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Sunday.

The military action comes a little more than a year after the United States launched almost 60 cruise missiles at an airfield in Syria following an earlier chemical attack in the Syrian civil war.

She spoke after the US led an air-and-sea missile attack overnight Friday on the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, in response to his purported March 7 chemical attack on civilians, in the country's years-long civil war.

Asked about U.S. -Russia relations, Haley said ties were "very strained" but that the United States still hoped for a better relationship.

The measure would instruct the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to report within 30 days on whether Syria has fully disclosed its chemical weapons stockpile.

U.S. Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie, director of the Joint Staff at the Pentagon, said the allied airstrikes "took out the heart" of Assad's chemical weapons arsenal.

Speaking to the BBC, Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said that Western powers had no plans for further missile strikes, though they would assess their options if Damascus used chemical weapons again.

All fingers naturally pointed to the Russia-backed Assad regime while the Syrian Government argued that the "White Helmet" resistant group supported by the British made up the scene to frame them.

Abdulrazek defected from the program in 2012, when he was based in eastern Ghouta, the suburb hit by a chemical attack in 2013 and allegedly again on April 7.

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"They will go directly to any sort of companies that were dealing with equipment related to Assad and chemical weapons use".

Senator Mazie K Hirono said she was deeply concerned by the Trump's incoherent strategy on Syria where there are layers of complexity and no easy answers.

The two leaders agreed that the Western strikes had damaged the chances of achieving a political resolution in Syria, the news agencies reported.

It comes as President Trump has defended his use of the term "mission accomplished" following the weekend's airstrikes. They say information gathered from recent alleged attacks also suggest Assad retained a "continued production capacity" — also banned under the 2013 deal.

Russian and Iranian military help over the past three years has allowed Assad to crush the rebel threat to topple him.

The United States, Britain and France have all participated in the Syrian conflict for years, arming rebels, bombing Islamic State fighters and deploying troops to fight the militants.

She said: "We can not stand by and let Russian Federation trash every worldwide norm and allow use of chemical weapons to go unanswered".

Sarin had previously appeared to be the threshold for intervention.

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