US Pushes UN Sanctions of Syria for Chemical Attacks, Russian Threatens Veto

U.S. Ambassador the U.N. Nikki Haley. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Mission to the UN

With multiple chemical weapons attacks in Syria over the last few years in that nation’s catastrophic civil war, the United States and European allies are intent on sanctioning the Syrian regime at the United Nations, whether the Russians like it or not. And the Russians definitely do not. Foreign Policy reported late last week that the U.S., Britain and France want to limit Syria’s ability to import helicopters, which the article said have been used to launch chemical attacks, and certain legal chemicals such as chlorine that can be used as weapons.

The proposed move at the U.N. would also sanction nearly two dozen Syrian entities, military, and intelligence leaders because of their links to the use of chemical weapons. The report noted that Russia’s deputy U.N. envoy, Vladimir Safronkov, told reporters his nation would veto the action, after the American ambassador to the U.N. called for action and openly slammed the Russian “excuses for the Syrian regime.”

New U.S. envoy to the U.N. Nikki Haley highlighted the conclusions of an investigation into the use of chemical weapons in comments released by her office on Friday. “You had an overwhelming vote to say we need an investigative mechanism that would prove that these chemical weapons were being done by the Syrian regime,” said Haley.

“Now you’ve got the results that have come out, and people don’t like what the results are. It is ridiculous. How much longer is Russia going to continue to babysit and make excuses for the Syrian regime? People have died by being suffocated to death. That’s barbaric.”

The Syrian civil war has been going for roughly six years, with more than a quarter of a million people dying in the conflict and millions more turned into refugees. It is a hotbed of violence, with the Syrian regime battling rebels supported by the West as well as terror groups such as ISIS.

Russia, the U.S., Iran, and the Hezbollah terror group in Lebanon have all fought one entity or another in the embattled nation. Reportedly, Israel has also launched attacks in Syria in an effort to prevent advanced Syrian weapons from reaching Hezbollah.

Haley believes enough is enough, even if Russia vetoes a resolution. “We were given all these reasons on why the timing was wrong. That is exactly why the timing is right. That is exactly why this resolution needs to happen,” said Haley.

“Whether people are going to veto it or not, you are either for chemical weapons or you’re against it. People died because of this, and the United States isn’t going to be quiet.”

(By Joshua Spurlock,, February 26, 2017)

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