White House: Syrian Regime Should Abide by Accords Prohibiting Chemical Weapons
- Author: Leroy Wright Apr 08, 2017,
Apr 08, 2017, 13:02
USA ambassador Nikki Haley delivered the warning at an emergency session of the Security Council where Russian Federation accused the United States of violating global law and waging an "act of aggression" against Syria. And earlier: "If the U.S. attacks Syria and hits the wrong targets, killing civilians, there will be worldwide hell to pay".
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, traveling in Turkey, said Assad's fate "will be decided by the Syrian people".
He specifically accused President Bashar Assad for a chemical attack using banned bases that killed dozens of men, women and children in a northern town controlled by forces opposing the Syrian government. "Why did this happen?" he said in an interview with "Power Lunch". He gave the green light on the missile strike ahead of dinner with China's President Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng).
"That changed last night", Haley said.
"It could be that Russian Federation is knowingly allowing chemical weapons to remain in Syria".
The United Nations Security Council will receive a Friday morning briefing on the USA air strikes against Syria.
BEIRUT: US missiles targeted Syrian forces Friday in response to a suspected chemical attack that killed up to 86 people earlier this week.
"For any specialist, it is clear that a decision on the missile strike on Syria was taken in Washington long before the events in the village Khan Sheikhoun", said the Defense Ministry. Shortly afterward, the hospital was bombed. The officials all spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations and intelligence matters. They say they're still reviewing evidence.
Now, U.S. service members in Syria as part of the campaign to defeat ISIS may face new threats from Syrian leader Bashar Assad's forces, which are backed by Russian Federation.
Tuesday's attack was the first time since 2013 that Syria was accused of using sarin, a banned nerve agent it was meant to have given up under a Russian-brokered, United Nations -enforced deal that persuaded Obama to call off air strikes four years ago.
"We were fully justified in doing so", she said.
Russian Federation is Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's most powerful ally and has provided the military might behind his continuing grip on the country, which plunged into civil war six years ago. When Obama intervened in Libya in 2011, he used a U.N. Security Council mandate and NATO's overall leadership of the mission to argue that he had legal authority - arguments many Republicans opposed.
US allies from Asia, Europe and the Middle East expressed support, if sometimes cautiously.
Mr Trump had said during the presidential campaign that he would not be drawn into Syria's conflict.
USA officials portrayed the strikes as an appropriate, measured response and said they did not signal a broader shift in the Trump administration's approach to the Syrian conflict.
Abe added that the threat of weapons of mass destruction is becoming increasingly serious in East Asia as well - an apparent reference to North Korea, a neighbor of Japan. And to some, Trump appears to look strong - where others say his predecessor seemed weak.
USA officials said 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired from Navy ships in the Mediterranean at the Shayrat airfield at 3:40am (0040 GMT), dealing heavy damage to the base from where Washington believes Tuesday's deadly attack was launched.
Moreover, the Russian Ministry of Defense sent a note on the issue to Washington.
That catapulted the United States into a confrontation with Russian Federation, which has military advisers on the ground assisting its close ally Assad.
US President Donald Trump ordered the strike against the airbase from which a chemical weapons attack was launched earlier this week, US officials said.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres appealed for restraint. Trump also failed to articulate any new strategy for ending the civil war in Syria, vaguely calling on "all civilized nations to join us in seeking to end the slaughter and bloodshed" in that country.