Monday, 19 February, 2018

Nikki Haley: We Don't See Peace in Syria With Assad

Melinda Barton | 21 April, 2017, 18:15

Mr Trump ordered a strike by 59 cruise missiles on the base in America's first direct attack against the Syrian government.

Much of the worldwide community rallied behind Trump's decision to fire the cruise missiles in reaction to the chemical weapons attack that killed dozens in Syria. This provided time for the Russian-initiated agreement, backed by the United Nations, which led to the destruction of the vast majority of Syria's chemical weapons arsenal.

Rouhani said "neutral countries should come and assess to make it clear where the chemical weapons came from". "Terrorists must not be allowed to use such weapons to accuse others and pave the way for actions that are contrary to global law", said Rouhani.

"To me, it was a very clarifying moment for the president", Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., the top Democrat on the Armed Services Committee. "I've seen him a good way on China, evolve in a good way on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, evolve in a good way on Israel".

He stopped short of accusing Russian Federation of being directly involved in the planning or execution of the attack, saying he had not seen "any hard evidence" to suggest the nation was an accomplice to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

In his first televised interview, H.R. McMaster pointed to dual USA goals of defeating the Islamic State group and removing Assad.

White House officials caution that Mr Trump is not preparing to plunge the U.S. deeper into Syria.

In the weeks leading up to the chemical attack, the administration had stressed that its priority in the Middle East was defeating ISIS, that it had no interest in getting mired there and that Assad's removal - an Obama administration focus - was no longer a priority.

In Florida with the president, treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin said additional economic sanctions on Syria were being prepared. And a senior administration official cautioned the strike shouldn't be seen as the beginning of a wider campaign to weaken or remove the Syrian leader.

Kaine said that the US should help Syria with humanitarian aid, rather than prioritizing ousting Assad or entering into a war with Syria and possibly its allies. By contrast, when President Obama considered authorizing military action against the regime following an even deadlier sarin attack in 2013, he respected constitutional limitations on his power and-failing to receive authorization from Congress-did not do so.

"I think it probably was partially to blame", McCain said.

"You tell the Russians, 'If you continue to bomb the people we train, we'll shoot you down, ' Graham said".

Several lawmakers said Sunday that the decision on whether to oust Assad shouldn't entirely be up to Trump. U.S. Treasury officials say they are preparing sanctions in response to the chemical weapons attack, though the Syrian government is already buried under U.S. and European Union sanctions. "I think that's where we start", he said. He said the most ideal process would be a political solution that leads to a transitional government. Still, Haley said the US didn't see a peaceful future Syria with Assad in power.

He had planned to travel to Russia Monday on a trip meant to start a fresh dialogue with Moscow.

Rouhani said the US strike would not affect Iran's Syria policy, while Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Iran would not withdraw in the face of such aggressions.

Russia suspended but didn't cancel a deconfliction channel the USA and Russian militaries use to ensure they don't accidentally clash during operations against ISIS.

In addition to the blunt message sent to Assad, the strikes are also a signal to Russian Federation and Iran, Syria's main benefactors, as well as China, which the USA believes isn't doing enough to stop North Korea's nuclear pursuits.

Saudi Arabia, one of the most vehement opponents of Assad, said the missile barrage was the right response to "the crimes of this regime to its people in light of the failure of the global community to stop it". The fulsome worldwide support for the U.S. strike "is going to box Russian Federation in" if it tries to attack the USA at the United Nations, he said. Now, he said, they could use the strike to apply pressure, warning that the regime might be subject to more if they don't cooperate.

He called the Assad government a main force against terrorism and said it deserved the presumption of innocence over the chemical weapons attack.

Vershbow sees an opportunity for the USA to apply pressure as well.

"Do they want it to be a relationship of competition and potential conflict", McMaster said. "Either Russia has been complicit or Russia has simply been incompetent in its ability to deliver on its end of that agreement", he said.

He added: "We can not miss this moment".

"So I think the administration has to think through clearly", Vershbow said, "because without an 'or else, ' it's not going to be a credible message".