Trump’s UN Envoy Condemns Russian ‘Baby-Sitting’ of Syria Regime

  • U.S., allies seek to impose tighter sanctions on Syria
  • Russia calls resolution a ‘provocation,’ plans a veto

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley slammed Moscow’s defense of Syria’s use of chemical weapons ahead of a Security Council vote next week that Russian diplomats have vowed to veto.

The U.S., U.K. and France will propose a resolution that bans the sale of helicopters to Syria and places sanctions on 11 Syrians and 10 entities linked to chemical attacks in the six-year civil war. The resolution will be Haley’s first since taking office last month and it comes as confusion remains over President Donald Trump’s efforts to improve ties with Moscow, which has allied itself with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

“How much longer is Russia going to babysit and make excuses for the Syrian regime?” Haley said Friday after a closed session of the Security Council. “Whether people are are going to veto it or not, you are either for chemical weapons or you are against it. People died because of this, and the U.S. is not going to be quiet about it.”

A joint investigation by the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons concluded last October that the Syrian military had carried out at least three chemical attacks in 2014 and 2015.

Russia will veto the resolution, said Vladimir Safronkov, deputy ambassador to the UN. Russia has used its veto six times to protect Assad from punitive measures since the start of Syrian uprising in 2011.

“The resolution is one-sided and is based on insufficient proof,” Safronkov told reporters. “The resolution was a provocation.”

Last month, the U.S. blacklisted 18 Syrian officials over their connection to chemical weapons. Washington also imposed sanctions on Organization for Technological Industries for its role in developing the country’s ballistic missile program.

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