Nikki Haley: US prepared for military action in Syria if UN doesn’t act
.@USUN Amb Haley: For sake of the people of #Syria & integrity of #UNSC, we must respond & take action. The ceasefire has failed. The situation of civilians in #EasternGhouta is dire & the US is acting. We have drafted a new ceasefire resolution that provides no room for evasion. pic.twitter.com/yTUDCj8JJV
— Department of State (@StateDept) March 12, 2018
United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Monday said the U.S. is willing to take military action to end the Syrian bombing of civilians if the U.N. is unable to do so.
“When the international community consistently fails to act, there are times when states are compelled to take their own action,” Haley told the Security Council, noting that this is one of those times.
“We warn any nation determined to impose its will through chemical attacks and inhuman suffering, but most especially the outlaw Syrian regime, the United States remains prepared to act if we must,” Haley said. “It is not a path we prefer. But it is a path we have demonstrated we will take, and we are prepared to take again.”
Haley compared the current situation in Syria to a period last year when the Syrian government’s chemical weapon attacks led the U.S. to launch a missile attack against the Syrian military.
The council passed a resolution calling for a ceasefire in late February but it has been unable to put an end to the Syrian government’s bombings or get the government to permit humanitarian access.
U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said the bombings in Ghouta have only gotten worse since the Security Council called for the ceasefire, noting that the Syrian government — helped by Russia and China — has significantly increased its controlled territory in the region.
Defense Secretary James Mattis on Sunday warned the Syrian government that “it would be unwise for them to use weaponized gas” following reports of chlorine attacks in Ghouta, an area surrounding the capital city of Damascus.
Although Mattis did not threaten military action, he noted the previous airstrikes that followed a gas attack and said President Trump has “full political maneuver room” to take whatever action he deems necessary.
French President Emmanuel Macron, speaking at a press conference in India, also warned Syria that it would carry out targeted strikes if it found “irrefutable evidence” that chemical weapons were being used to kill civilians, Reuters reported.
The Syrian civil war is entering its eighth year.
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