Addressing the United Nations on Thursday, U.S. ambassador Nikki Haley pinpointed the real problem standing in the way of peace in Syria. “Many of you said, we need to put pressure on the Syrian regime. That’s actually not the case,” she said. “We need to put pressure on Russia because Russia continues to cover for the Syrian regime. Russia continues to allow them to keep humanitarian aid from the people that need it.”
“I listened to my Russian colleague, and he talked about task forces, and diplomacy, and less criticism of the Syrian regime,” Haley said after the Russian ambassador spoke. “Where has that gotten us? It hasn’t gotten us anywhere.”
She repeatedly pointed out that the one member state that continues to protect the Syrian regime and keeps humanitarian assistance from getting through to Syrian civilians is Russia.
“Russia continues to cover for a leader who uses chemical weapons against his own people,” Haley said. “Russia continues to veto and Assad continues to do these things because they know Russia will continue to cover for them.”
U.S. pressure on Russia has increased at the U.N. under the Trump administration, especially as the country continues to block resolutions condemning Syria’s chemical attacks against its population.
“All eyes and all pressure now need to go to Russia, because they are the ones that could stop this if they wanted to,” Haley said, urging U.N. members to not pay attention “to the distractions of what they’re trying to say, pointing to other conflicts.”
When Haley was done, Russia’s ambassador fired back that his country, Turkey, and Iran are “bearing their weight of work to ensure there is compliance with the cessation of hostilities,” claiming that Haley said nothing about how they were trying to make the situation in Syria better.
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