Haley Warns:
US to hit Russia with sanctions over support for Assad

Nikki Haley says US knocked Syrian chemical weapons program 'back years' - but isn't interested in toppling Assad.

David Rosenberg ,

Nikki Haley
Nikki Haley

The US is planning to a series of new sanctions against Russia, following the country’s continued support for the Assad regime in Syria, despite the Syrian militaries repeated use of chemical weapons on civilians.

Speaking with CBS on Sunday, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said the Trump administration would announce new sanctions against Russia on Monday to send a “strong message” regarding the consequences for regimes and the allies of regimes using banned chemical weapons.

"You will see that Russian sanctions will be coming down," Haley told CBS. “Secretary Mnuchin will be announcing those on Monday, if he hasn't already."

On Saturday, the US led a missile strike on targets at three locations inside Syria, aimed at crippling the Assad’s regime to maintain its chemical weapon program.

The attack was prompted by the apparent use of chemical weapons against civilians in the city of Douma, east of Damascus, on April 7th. The attack on the rebel-held city left dozens dead, and drew condemnations from Western powers, including the US, France, and UK.

Haley rejected claims that the attack, which included more than 100 missile strikes, was “muscle-flexing”, saying that the attack had caused serious damage to the Syrian chemical weapon program.

“This was not muscle-flexing. We sent their chemical weapons program back years.”

The ambassador added that while the US was intent on sending the message that it would not tolerate the use of banned chemical weapons on civilians, there were no plans to topple Assad.

“Our job was never to take Assad out. Our job was never to start a war.”

Instead, Haley continued, the US hoped for a UN-led negotiated resolution to the conflict.

Speaking on Fox News earlier Sunday, Haley said that the US would not implement the planned withdrawal of US forces from Syria until three basic objectives were achieved.

The US wants to “see American troops come home,” Haley told Fox News, “but we are not going to leave until we know we have accomplished those things.”

America’s goals in Syria, Haley said, included the defeat of the ISIS terror group, ensuring that chemical weapons do not threaten US interests, and monitoring Iranian actions in the region.