Haley calls for UN Security Council vote for inquiry on Syria; Russia claims it is being “unpardonably threatened” at United Nations; Netanyahu: Security in the present is a necessary condition for security in the future and what we have here today is a powerful expression for our future security.
The United States called for a vote on a proposal for an international inquiry on the chemical attack in Syria at the UN General Assembly on Monday.
US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, addressed the Council, assuring it that the United States would respond to the attack, Haley calling for “justice to be done” for the people of Syria.
Specifically addressing Russia, Haley stated “The Russian regime, whose hands are all covered in the blood of Syrian children, cannot be ashamed by pictures of its victims. We’ve tried that before. We must not overlook Russia and Iran’s roles in enabling the Assad regime’s murderous destruction. We are beyond appeals to conscience. We have reached the moment when the world must see justice done. 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.”
Russia’s Ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, responded claiming a “broad arsenal of methods is being leveraged-slander, insults, hawkish rhetoric, blackmail, sanctions and threats to use force against a sovereign state.” He claimed that “Russia is being unpardonably threatened. The tone with which this is being done has gone beyond the threshold of what is acceptable, even during the Cold War.”
Russia is expected to use its veto power at the Council as it did in November of 2017 on previous UN chemical weapons inquiry.
The number of Iranians killed in the strike has risen to 4, Iran confirming the number of deaths while officially accusing and condemning the “Zionist regime” for the attack. The Islamic Republic referred to its soldiers killed as “martyrs” and “military advisors”.
Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed these events and escalation from the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. He stated Monday that Israel “We have one clear and simple rule and we seek to express it constantly: If someone tries to attack you – rise up and attack him. We will not allow, here on the Gaza border, them to hurt us. We will hurt them. Security in the present is a necessary condition for security in the future and what we have here today is a powerful expression for our future security.”
The death toll from the attack in Ghouta has risen to a reported 150, many of which were children.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry officially accused the Assad regime of passing and manufacturing chemical weapons. It released a statement “This is one in a long series of attacks perpetrated by the regime since Assad undertook to disarm from such weapons and clearly shows that Syria continues to possess lethal chemical weapons capabilities and even the capability to manufacture new ones… The Syrian regime continues to perpetrate crimes against humanity in using these outlawed weapons. The latest attack joins a long series of similar attacks using chemical weapons perpetrated by the regime since Assad undertook to disarm from such weapons. The attack shows clearly that Syria continues to possess lethal chemical weapons capabilities and even to manufacture new ones. In so doing Syria is grossly violating its obligations and the decisions of the international community in this matter.”
President Trump vowed to respond to the attack in the coming 1-2 days. He stated on Sunday of Assad’s regime “If they’re innocent, why aren’t they allowing people to go in and through? Because as you know, they’re claiming that they didn’t make the attack. If it’s Russia, if it’s Syria, if it’s Iran, if it’s all of them together, we’re going to figure it out. We’ll know the answers quite soon.”
Photo: UN Security Council, Wikimedia Commons, 2018