On Sunday, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said that the Trump administration will be imposing new sanctions on Russia for supporting the Syrian regime.
Speaking on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Haley described President Donald Trump’s commitment to resolving the Syrian crisis as well as new sanctions that will be imposed as soon as Monday.
“So, you will see that Russian sanctions will be coming down … they will go directly to any sort of companies that were dealing with equipment related to Assad and chemical weapons use,” Haley said.
“I think everyone is gonna feel it at this point,” she added. “I think everyone knows that we sent a strong message, and our hope is that they listen to it.”
The administration signaled its commitment to aiding victims in the Syrian crisis, with Haley announcing that the U.S. plans to continue its involvement in the region just hours before French President Emmanuel Macron claimed credit for helping turn around Trump’s plan to withdraw U.S. troops.
“Ten days ago, President Trump was saying that the United States would disengage from Syria,” Macron stated on Sunday. “We convinced him that it was necessary to stay there long-term.”
Haley said on “Fox News Sunday” that the U.S. withdrawal from Syria would come only after three goals had been met: defeating the Islamic State group, preventing the further use of chemical weapons in the region, and ensuring the United States’ ability to keep watch on Iran.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders also commented on Macron’s statement, stating that Trump’s goals for Syria had not changed, though recent action had been taken.
“We are determined to completely crush ISIS and create the conditions that will prevent its return,” Sanders said. “In addition we expect our regional allies and partners to take greater responsibility both militarily and financially for securing the region.”
Though Haley said that the ultimate goal was “to see American troops come home,” she explained that the U.S. will not leave until those goals are accomplished in their entirety.
The new round of sanctions against Russia is said to especially target Russian companies that have aided the Syrian government in creating and deploying chemical weapons.
Haley herself has been one of the strongest accusers of Russia enabling the Syrian government’s alleged use of chemical weapons on its own civilians for several years.
Creating strain between Moscow and the U.S., Russia has vetoed at least six resolutions in regard to chemical weapons during U.N. Security Council meetings, with White House officials accusing Vladimir Putin’s government of protecting the Syrian regime and its president Bashar al-Assad.
Declassified French documents state that the government of Syria has carried out a number of chemical attacks on its own people dating back to April 4, 2017, when an attack in the Idlib province in northern Syria left 80 dead.
The attack on April 7 of this year was just the latest in this series of chemical strikes.
A U.S. report cited “multiple media sources, the reported symptoms experienced by victims, videos and images showing two assessed barrel bombs from the attack, and reliable information indicating coordination between Syrian military officials before the attack.”
The report also claims that the Syrian government didn’t use just chlorine in its attack, but that the victims’ symptoms indicate they were exposed to a deadly nerve agent called sarin.
The attack prompted a U.S.-led airstrike, alongside the United Kingdom and France, against Syria on Friday in locations where chemical weapons storage and facilities were thought to be.
In an address to the nation late Friday night, Trump called the actions against innocent Syrians “evil and despicable” and explained why the airstrikes were so important.
“The purpose of our actions tonight is to establish a strong deterrent against the production, spread and use of chemical weapons,” Trump said. “Establishing this deterrent is a vital national security interest of the United States.”
“To Iran and to Russia I ask — what kind of regime wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women and children?”
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