Linda Thomas-Greenfield
Linda Thomas-Greenfield REUTERS/Mike Segar

US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield spoke at a UN Security Council briefing on chemical weapons in Syria.

"The United States strongly condemns the use of chemical weapons anywhere, anytime, and by anyone," she stated. "These are weapons of mass destruction, and their use by any state constitutes an unacceptable threat to every state."

"This week we recall two tragic chemical weapons attacks in Syria," the Ambassador noted. "On April 4, 2017, the Assad regime deployed chemical weapons on the town of Khan Shaykhun in the Idlib governorate, killing Syrian children, women, and men. One year later, on April 7, 2018, in the city of Douma, the Assad regime again used these horrific, horrific banned weapons on innocent people."

"Unfortunately, the chemical weapons attacks in Khan Shaykhoun and Douma were not the only ones," Thomas-Greenfield added. "They represent a pattern. They represent a pattern of use and abuse by the Assad regime. The regime then tries to avoid accountability by obstructing independent investigations and failing to cooperate with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons."

"Meanwhile, Russia continues to defend the Assad regime without reservation," she emphasized. "It does this by spreading disinformation, attacking the integrity and professional work of the OPCW, and impeding the efforts by responsible nations to hold the Assad regime accountable for its use of chemical weapons."

Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield blamed "Russia’s irresponsible and dangerous enablement" for the fact that the Assad regime continues to ignore calls to fully disclose and verifiably destroy its chemical weapons programs.

"The women and children of Syria are waiting," she concluded. "They know the Security Council has said that chemical weapons attacks are unacceptable. They know we have the power to hold the Assad regime accountable. So, let us act. And let us show them that we are worthy of our charge."