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Haley Warns US May Unleash Massive New Airstrikes in Syria

13 March 2018

Home to some 400,000 civilian residents, Eastern Ghouta has remained the target of a crippling siege by the Syrian regime - of which Russian Federation is a major ally - for the last five years.

"This was done in order to prepare the ground for unilateral military actions against sovereign Syria", Nebenzya said in reference to the attempts to put the blame on the Syrian government for the chemical weapons use in the country.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the council on Monday that since the adoption of the February ceasefire resolution, which was drafted by Sweden and Kuwait, "there has been no cessation of hostilities". "And if we can't act when children are dying, we have no business being here", Haley said. If the Security Council is unable to adopt the resolution, then the ready to take matters into their own hands.

Vasily Nebenzya said that the Nusra Front* militants used chemical weapons in East Ghouta, injuring 30 civilians.

"With that vote Russian Federation made a commitment to us, to the Syrian people, and the world to stop the killing in Syria", Haley said of February's UN Security Council ceasefire in Syria.

"We are very much concerned that the alleged chemical use might be a pretext for something bigger and much more risky", Russian U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told Reuters.

The army's onslaught in the region, backed by air and artillery strikes, has killed about 1,160 people since February 18, a war monitoring group said, according to Reuters.

"We have seen nothing but carnage in response to the Security Council's resolution calling for a halt to the massacre in Eastern Ghouta", says Arnaud Quemin, the Mercy Corps director of programs in Syria.

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Haley accused Syria, Russia and Iran of using that loophole to bomb hospitals and schools and to "continue starving and pummeling hundreds of thousands of innocent Syrian civilians".

Haley proceeded to accuse the Russians of violating the agreement by taking advantage of a provision that allows for military strikes to take out terrorists. Only a limited number of convoys delivering medical supplies and food have succeeded in reaching civilians - and Syrian government forces confiscated most of the equipment on one load, he said.

More than 35 civilians have also been killed in rebel fire on government-controlled zones in Damascus and its outskirts since the start of the Ghouta offensive, it says.

The diplomat referred to last year's attack on Syria's Shairat air field, in the aftermath of Khan Sheikhoun chemical incident, as an example of possible U.S. actions.

"When the worldwide community consistently fails to act, there are times when states are compelled to take their own action", Haley said.

"We also warn any nation that is determined to impose its will through chemical attacks and inhuman suffering, most especially the outlaw Syrian regime, the United States remains prepared to act if we must", Haley said.

Reviewing his annual report at a Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, Zeid bin Ra'ad, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that the indiscriminate and brutal attacks against civilians in the eastern Ghouta can not be justified no matter what, dismissing the Syrian regime's false claims that it took precautions to protect civilians as "ridiculous", and stressing the need to take the matter to the International Criminal Court.

Haley Warns US May Unleash Massive New Airstrikes in Syria