Haley: US will respond to Syria chemical attack with or without UNSC support

Washington plans to respond to the suspected chemical attack by the Syrian regime, US Ambassador Nikki Haley stated on Monday during a special meeting. “History will record this as the moment when the Security Council either discharged its duty or demonstrated its utter and complete failure to protect the people of Syria,” she warned.
Nikki Haley Photo Credit: EPA

At an emergency UN Security Council meeting on Monday, US Ambassador Nikki Haley told the council members that the United States will respond to the Syrian regime’s alleged chemical attack in Douma. The special meeting was called by several nations, including the US, Poland, Sweden and the UK, to address the reports of the attack in the rebel-held town.

Haley stressed that Washington plans to respond to the attack even without the UNSC’s support: “History will record this as the moment when the Security Council either discharged its duty or demonstrated its utter and complete failure to protect the people of Syria. Either way, the United States will respond.”

The US ambassador also pushed for the council to vote in the near future on a draft resolution about a probe into the attack and condemned Russia, one of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s main allies. “The Russian regime, whose hands are also covered in the blood of Syrian children, cannot be shamed by pictures of its victims,” she stated. “Russia could stop this senseless slaughter, if it wanted. But it stands with the Assad regime and supports it without hesitation. What's the point of trying to shame such people? After all, no civilized government would have anything to do with Assad's murderous regime.”

Russian Ambassador to the UN Vassily Nebenzia said in response to Haley’s claims that there would be “serious consequences” for Washington if it attacks the Syrian government. The Russian diplomat added that Moscow has already investigated the attack and found no indication of the use of chemical weapons, echoing a claim made earlier on Monday by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Shortly after the meeting, US President Donald Trump said that he will soon decide how Washington will respond to the attack. “We’ll be making some major decisions over the next 24 to 48 hours,” Trump stated during a cabinet meeting. Later on Monday, when he was asked about the probability of a military response, he said: “Nothing's off the table.”



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