Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

White House considering additional sanctions on Russian Federation after Syria gas attack

White House considering additional sanctions on Russian Federation after Syria gas attack

Russia's deputy foreign minister said the delay was due to USA airstrikes.

U.S. President Donald Trump said the strikes had accomplished their aim of undermining efforts by the Syrian government to produce and use chemical weapons again in violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

She added that Russian Federation is feeling the effects of United States actions including "the sanctions that are continuing to happen, which you'll see again on Monday".

"We convinced him to limit the strikes to chemical weapons when at the same time there was a burst of tweets that did not escape you", Macron said.

Inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) went to Syria last week to inspect the Douma site but have yet to gain access to the town, which is now under government control after the rebels withdrew.

In the absence of a permanent secretary of state, Haley has been the face of American diplomacy, playing an especially prominent role over the past week as the Trump administration responded to the attack in Syria.

On Sunday, US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said new sanctions would be announced on Monday by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.

U.S., British and French forces pounded Syria with air strikes early on Saturday in response to a poison gas attack that killed dozens of people last week, in the biggest intervention by Western powers against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

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Sure enough, BBC News is reporting that members of the OPCW team sent to Douma have not been allowed into the attack site. "We can not allow the use of chemical weapons to become normalised - either within Syria, on the streets of the United Kingdom or elsewhere".

OPCW inspectors were expected to enter Douma aiming to collect samples, interview witnesses and document evidence to determine whether banned toxic munitions were used.

"It is long overdue that this council condemns the Syrian government for its reign of chemical terror and demands worldwide accountability for those responsible for these heinous acts", US Ambassador Kenneth Ward said.

The proposed sanctions follow USA -led airstrikes against Syria's chemical weapons capability and President Trump's promise that Assad and his allies, namely Moscow, would pay a "big price" for enabling the use of chemical weapons. On Sunday, United Nations chemical weapons investigators began examining the scene of the alleged attack, which came amid a brutal campaign by the Syrian government to retake the rebel-held district of Eastern Ghouta outside the capital Damascus. "Therefore allegations of this towards Russian Federation are groundless", Peskov said.

"It is our understanding the Russians may have visited the attack site".

Russia's defence ministry later said the United States and its allies had hit military targets and not just research facilities, Interfax news agency reported.

Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed their argument that the strikes were necessary "to prevent the normalization of the use of chemical weapons in Syria, or elsewhere".

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson told reporters today in Luxembourg ahead of an European Union meeting with foreign ministers that the air strikes are to tell Syria enough is enough.

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