Nikki Haley: Russia and Iran Will Be Held Accountable for Any Future Assad Chemical Attack

Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley testifies before a Senate Foreign Relations Com
REUTERS/Carlos Barria

On the heels of a White House statement warning Syria’s Bashar al-Assad that he would pay a “heavy price” if he launches another chemical weapons attack, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley tweeted that Russia and Iran would also be held accountable for their support of the dictator’s actions.

“Any further attacks done to the people of Syria will be blamed on Assad, but also on Russia & Iran who support him killing his own people,” Haley wrote.

“The United States has identified potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime that would likely result in the mass murder of civilians, including innocent children,” the White House statement said. “The activities are similar to preparations the regime made before its April 4, 2017 chemical weapons attack.”

“As we have previously stated, the United States is in Syria to eliminate the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria,” the statement continued. “If, however, Mr. Assad conducts another mass murder attack using chemical weapons, he and his military will pay a heavy price.”

In April, Assad’s troops were accused of launching a chemical attack on Khan Sheikhoun that killed at least 80 people, including women and children. U.S. officials said after the attack that they had evidence that Assad had ordered it. The horrific attack prompted a U.S. missile strike on a military base.

“The Kremlin described the warning as an unacceptable threat and said Russia had no information about a new chemical attack,” the Guardian reported. “However, the Russian and Syrian militaries are closely intertwined.”

“The White House warning came on the same day the chief of the Russian general staff, General Valery Gerasimov met with Assad at Khmeimim air base near Latakia,” the newspaper added.

The Guardian also reported that the UK Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said the U.S. had not shared any intelligence on a potential chemical weapons attack.

“We are very clear the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime is absolutely abhorrent and the last time the United States took action to deal with the aircraft and airbase from which these chemical weapons were used we fully supported their strike,” Fallon told the BBC.

In May, Haley became the highest ranking American official to be so near Syrian territory in years when she visited the “no-man’s land” between Syria and Turkey.

“Ferried to the border in an armored motorcade, Haley walked to within just a few feet of entering the Arab land,” the Associated Press reported. “Underscoring the danger, security officials spirited her away from the border after unmarked vehicles were spotted moving toward the area.”

“Beyond the frontier, she confronted a human reminder of the world’s failure to resolve the war: About 8,400 Syrian refugees in a Turkish refugee camp, some of them stuck there for more than five years,” AP reported.

“The dominant theme of Haley’s trip this week to Jordan and Turkey was the need to retool the global approach to meet the needs of Syrians stuck in a protracted conflict now in its seventh year,” AP reported. “Haley said she wanted to ‘bring new life’ to efforts to help the refugees, mentioning schooling and training in particular.”


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