U.S. Threatens Military Action In Syria Amid Fierce Fighting in Eastern Ghouta
United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley warned that Washington could take military action against Syrian assets if the Security Council fails to end the fighting. “It is not the path we prefer, but it is a path we have demonstrated we will take, and we are prepared to take again,” she asserted. Haley was referencing the dozens of Tomahawk cruise missiles the U.S. fired last April at the Syrian Al-Shayrat air base, from where a chemical attack—which killed more than 80 people and injured hundreds more—was launched days earlier on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun. The U.S. diplomat’s comments come against the backdrop of intense fighting in Eastern Ghouta, located on the outskirts of the capital Damascus, which has been bombarded by pro-regime forces, operating under the cover Russian air power, for over three weeks; this, despite the Security Council having on February 24 passed a resolution calling for a 30-day nationwide ceasefire in Syria. During the campaign, one of the fiercest in the seven-years-long war, there have been multiple reports of the usage of chemical weapons, primarily chlorine gas. Haley blamed Moscow for not observing the truce and revealed that the U.S. is in the process of drafting a follow-up resolution for an immediate cessation of hostilities that will not contain any “anti-terrorism loopholes.” Russia’s envoy to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, dismissed the accusations, claiming, somewhat paradoxically, that the Eastern Ghouta operation was contributing to the ceasefire’s implementation.