Monday, 19 November, 2018

US's United Nations ambassador says no decision yet on Syria

U.S. Ambassaodr to the U.N. Nikki Haley addresses a meeting of the U.N. Security Council U.S. Ambassaodr to the U.N. Nikki Haley addresses a meeting of the U.N. Security Council
Patty Aguilar | 14 April, 2018, 01:08

Ambassador Nikki Haley on Thursday said the United States has "enough proof" that Syria was behind the fatal chemical attack there, telling NBC News that "we just have to be thoughtful in our action".

Haley's remarks came ahead of a Security Council meeting called by Russian Federation to discuss the dangers of a possible US-led military action in Syria over the alleged chemical attack in Douma, Eastern Ghouta on April 7. But on Friday, she added the USA has not decided on a possible response.

Haley confirmed that President Trump has not yet made a decision on possible USA action in Syria.

After recounting several recent examples of Russian actions to enable the Syrian government's use of chemical weapons against its own people, Haley called out Russia for lying about its involvement and denounced its attempts to hide evidence of the attack from the worldwide community.

As for last week's suspected poisonous gas attack on the Damascus suburb of Douma, Haley said: "We know who did this". "At some point, you have to say enough".

According to the Associated Press, Britain's United Nations ambassador responded to Russia's accusation that the attack was a U.K. cover-up, calling the assertion a "blatant lie" and joining in the condemnation of Russian actions in Syria.

Haley said that the USA believes that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons in that nation's civil war "at least 50 times". "Public estimates are as high as 200". She also noted that Russian Federation had agreed to guarantee the removal of Syria's chemical weapons, and had they followed through with that promise, "we would not be here today". "Russian Federation can complain all it wants about fake news, but no one is buying its lies and cover-ups", Haley said. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said his government has worked "robustly and fully" to de-escalate tensions in worldwide relations.

Washington, Paris and London are contemplating a possible joint campaign of airstrikes against Syria over what they have classified as a chemical attack. Experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons are expected to arrive Douma on Saturday.

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The United States has been in close consultations with allies Britain and France on what response it should take.

Russian officials suggested opposition groups in Douma fabricated the attack in order to provoke a US response against the Assad regime.

He said France would "shoulder its responsibility to end an intolerable threat to our collective security", and ensure respect for global law and Security Council resolutions.

Haley then went on to describe the gruesome effects of chemical weapons, which were used on the battlefield in World War I and by Nazi Germany during the Holocaust. "The British Cabinet has agreed on the need to take action to alleviate humanitarian distress and to deter the further use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime, and we will continue to work with our friends and allies to coordinate an global response to that end".

What will the U.S. do in response?

"Increasing tensions and the inability to reach a compromise in the establishment of an accountability mechanism threaten to lead to a full-blown military escalation", he said.

"This is exactly the risk we face today - that things spiral out of control", Guterres said.

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