- U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Sunday the U.S. will sanction Russia over an alleged chemical attack in Syria last week
- Sanctions will be announced on Monday by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin
- They will target companies related to Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad and chemical weapons use
- The sanctions are a response to an alleged chemical attack last week in Douma
- The U.S., U.K. and France ordered targeted strikes against Assad on Friday
The White House pulled back on a sanctions announcement today that Nikki Haley, president’s ambassador to the United Nations, had previewed on Sunday.
Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement, ‘We are considering additional sanctions on Russia and a decision will be made in the near future.’
Talking points provided to DailyMail.com on Saturday mentioned upcoming sanctions on Russia. The Republican National Committee distributed them and explicitly described them in an email to surrogates as ‘White House talking points on the Syrian airstrike.’
Haley said that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin would hand down additional sanctions on Monday, if he had not already.
‘[The sanctions] will be going directly to any sort of companies that were dealing with equipment related to [Syrian dictator Bashar al] Assad and chemical weapons use,’ Haley said.
U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Sunday Russia will be sanctioned over an alleged chemical attack in Syria last week
The U.S., U.K. and France ordered strikes against Assad in the Damascus area on Friday
Her comments echoed a line in the talking points DailyMail.com received a day before.
‘We also intend to impose specific additional sanctions against Russia to respond to Moscow’s ongoing support for the Assad regime, which has enabled the regime’s atrocities against the Syrian people,’ the document said.
The Treasury Department would not confirm the sanctions on Sunday afternoon, telling DailyMail.com it ‘does not comment on prospective actions.’
And Sanders told reporters, ‘We’re evaluating, but nothing to announce right now.’
Trump’s spokeswoman also pushed back on a boast from French President Emmanuel Macron that he had persuaded President Trump to keep U.S. troops in Syria.
Sanders said the United States’ policy has not changed, and it would still like to pull the 2,000 American soldiers deployed in Syria out as soon as feasible.
‘We’ve talked about this for a while, but our policy hasn’t changed. We still have troops on the ground,’ she said. ‘But the President wants to bring those people home, and that hasn’t shifted.’
At a National Security Council meeting Trump is said to have requested that the troops come home in the next six months. Publicly he’s said he wants it to happen ‘very soon,’ although he made those comments prior to coalition airstrikes last Friday on Syria.
‘We don’t have a timeframe on it,’ Sanders said. ‘It’s not based on an arbitrary timeline, but on defeating ISIS and also getting the Gulf partners in the region to step up and do more both militarily and financially.’
Haley also appeared on Fox News Sunday and listed three aims for the U.S: ensuring that chemical weapons are not used in any way that pose a risk to U.S. interests, that Islamic State is defeated and that there is a good vantage point to watch what Iran is doing.
She said ‘[Our goal is] to see American troops come home, but we are not going to leave until we know we have accomplished those things.’
President Donald Trump has recently been very vocal about his desire for U.S. troops to come home.
On Friday, in conjunction with Great Britain’s Theresa May and France’s Emmanuel Macron, Trump ordered targeted strikes against Assad’s forces on Friday.
Still, Russia’s president Vladimir Putin has not backed down on his support for Assad despite international pressure, and claims the strikes represent a violation of international law.
He said on Sunday that new Western air strikes in Syria would provoke ‘chaos’ in international relations while speaking to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani by telephone.
It came as Syria’s president Assad said the Western airstrikes against his country were accompanied by a campaign of ‘lies’ and misinformation in the U.N.
Haley lashed out at Russia during a fiery meeting of the UN Security Council on Friday, promising the US was ready for another strike if Assad crossed the chemical weapons ‘red line’ in the future.
‘The time for talk ended last night,’ Haley told an emergency meeting of the Security Council called by Russia. ‘We are prepared to sustain this pressure, if the Syrian regime is foolish enough to test our will.’
Putin has not backed down on his support for dictator Assad despite international pressure. they are pictured in Moscow in 2015
Assad spoke on Sunday to a group of visiting Russian politicians. The dictator has said the airstrikes against Syria came with a campaign of ‘lies’ and misinformation in the U.N.
She also accused the Russians of covering up crimes committed by its ally, Assad, who she said had used chemical weapons 50 times in the past seven years of warfare.
‘Russia can complain all it wants about fake news, but no one is buying its lies and its cover-ups,’ she said of Syria’s strongest ally.
Assad, on his part, spoke on Sunday to a group of visiting Russian politicians, with his comments were carried by state media and pictures released of his meeting with members of the ruling United Russia party.
Some 75 people, including children, are said to have died when the Syrian regime used chlorine gas and another nerve agent in Douma last Saturday.
Both the Russian and Syrian government have denied involvement in the attack that left children vomiting and gasping for air, as shown in poignant photos.
But US officials have blamed Russia for failing to rein in its Syrian ally, as the guarantor of a 2013 agreement to dismantle Syria’s chemical weapons.
That agreement was brokered by Moscow to avert retaliatory US strikes in the wake of a sarin attack in the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta suburbs of Damascus on August 21, 2013 that reportedly killed more than 1,400 civilians.
Scores of fast jets, fighters and destroyers fired more than 100 missiles at three military targets in the Damascus area.
Both the Russian and Syrian government have denied involvement in the attack that left children vomiting and gasping for air, as shown in poignant photos
A Syrian solfier films the damage of the Syrian Scientific Research Center near Damascus
The first and largest was the Barzah Research and Development Center which was considered to be the ‘heart’ of the regime’s chemical weapons program.
The second target was the Hinshar Chemical Weapons Storage Facility.
The third target, the Hinshar CW Bunker, was hit by seven Scalp missiles.
The Tomahawks were mostly fired from the USS Monterey, a Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser and the USS Higgins, USS Laboon and the USS John Warner submarine.
France deployed its Mirage and Dassault Rafale jets and reportedly used four frigate warships.
It is not clear how many aircraft were deployed. Britain is believed only to have fired missiles from its Torpedoes and Typhoon aircraft.
–Credit: Home | Mail Online