Thursday, April 6, 2017

Attack In Syria: The US Threatens To Take Action


Donald Trump threatened to take action in Syria after an alleged attack on the Damascus regime, which the president of the United States described as "odious" and "affront to humanity."

Its head of diplomacy Rex Tillerson also warned Russia of its unwavering support in Damascus, while the UN Security Council was negotiating a resolution condemning this attack that raises international outrage.


At least 86 people, including 30 children, were killed in a raid on Khan Cheikhoun, a small town in Idlib's rebel province, on Tuesday. The doctors detected all the symptoms of a chemical attack: dilated pupils, convulsions, foam coming out of the mouth.
"This attack on children has had a huge impact on me," Donald Trump told a press conference with King Abdullah II of Jordan on Wednesday.

The Republican president acknowledged that his "attitude towards Syria and Assad had changed markedly," stressing that "what happened was unacceptable."

With this raid imputed to the Syrian regime, "many lines" were "crossed," he said, in reference to the "red line" that his predecessor Barack Obama had set himself about the chemical attacks of the regime Syrian.
Donald Trump evoked "the little children and even beautiful little babies" who perished. "Their death was an affront to mankind, and these acts of heinousness by the Assad regime can not be tolerated," he said at the White House.

He did not say what he intended to do.

- Vote to the UN postponed -


Since the beginning of the conflict in March 2011, Syria has divided Westerners and Russians, blocking all multilateral efforts to end a war that has claimed more than 320,000 lives.

But while Donald Trump has repeatedly pleaded to get closer to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, in particular, to settle the Syrian crisis, his administration proved on Wednesday very harsh against Moscow.
Secretary of State Tillerson warned it was "time for the Russians to really think about continuing their support for the Assad regime." The Syrian regime under Bashar al-Assad is responsible for this atrocious attack, "he added." There was no doubt in his mind.

The same firmness in the UN of the American ambassador Nikki Haley who has lambasted Russia for not having been able to temper its Syrian ally. It has threatened unilateral action by the United States in the event of failure of a "collective" United Nations action.

The Security Council, meeting urgently, rejected as early as Thursday the vote of a resolution, time for the Westerners to negotiate with Russia. Moscow had deemed "unacceptable" the draft text of the United States, France, and the United Kingdom.

Secretary of State Tillerson warned it was "time for the Russians to really think about continuing their support for the Assad regime." The Syrian regime under Bashar al-Assad is responsible for this atrocious attack, "he added." There was no doubt in his mind.
The same firmness in the UN of the American ambassador Nikki Haley who has lambasted Russia for not having been able to temper its Syrian ally. It has threatened unilateral action by the United States in the event of failure of a "collective" United Nations action.

The Security Council, meeting urgently, rejected as early as Thursday the vote of a resolution, time for the Westerners to negotiate with Russia. Moscow had deemed "unacceptable" the draft text of the United States, France, and the United Kingdom.

The French ambassador to the UN François Delattre said the talks were "in a good state of mind" and said "hope" a vote "as soon as possible", perhaps as early as Thursday.

The same firmness in the UN of the American ambassador Nikki Haley who has lambasted Russia for not having been able to temper its Syrian ally. It has threatened unilateral action by the United States in the event of failure of a "collective" United Nations action.

The Security Council, meeting urgently, rejected as early as Thursday the vote of a resolution, time for the Westerners to negotiate with Russia. Moscow had deemed "unacceptable" the draft text of the United States, France, and the United Kingdom.
The French ambassador to the UN François Delattre said the talks were "in a good state of mind" and said "hope" a vote "as soon as possible", perhaps as early as Thursday.

But other diplomats seemed more pessimistic, relying on a new Russian veto.

The draft resolution called for an investigation by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and that Syria provides flight plans and information on military operations at the time of the attack.

Deputy Ambassador for Russia Vladimir Safronkov said the Western resolution had been prepared in a hurry and was not useful, but he accepted a possible "objective investigation".
- 'Gaz sarin' -

French President François Hollande called for "a response from the international community to the height of this war crime." For Britain's chief diplomat Boris Johnson, "all the evidence (...) suggests that the Assad regime used" illegal weapons with full knowledge of the facts ".

On the ground, doctors tried to save the most seriously wounded among more than 160 people treated after the attack.

The nature of the chemicals has not been formally identified but the World Health Organization (WHO) has indicated that some victims have symptoms suggestive of exposure to a category of chemicals "including neurotoxic agents".

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) spoke of "a sarin gas-like neurotoxic agent" based on findings from his team in a hospital where wounded are treated.

According to the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights (OSDH), this is the second deadliest "attack" of the war after the sarin gas that had killed more than 1,400 dead near Damascus in August 2013 This had almost triggered an American and French military intervention, under the famous "red line" of Barack Obama.

But the US president of the time had given up at the last moment, preferring to seal an agreement with Moscow to dismantle the Syrian chemical arsenal.

On Wednesday, the Russian army partially exonerated its Syrian ally, claiming that the Damascus air force had hit a "warehouse" of rebels containing "toxic substances". By exploding, the latter would have disseminated in the atmosphere.

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