Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

U.S. "locked and loaded" for future chemical attacks by Syria

U.S.

What's unclear is where that red line now stands.

On Saturday, United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said if the Syrian regime continues to use chemical weapons against its people, it should know the U.S.is "locked and loaded". Defence secretary Gavin Wiliamson told BBC Radio 4: "Our service personnel have played an important role in terms of degrading the ability of the Syrian regime to use chemical weapons in the future, but also it sends a clear message to the Syrian regime that they can not continue to use chemical weapons with impunity".

Sarin had previously appeared to be the threshold for intervention.

The strikes were carried out in response to the suspected chemical weapons attack in Ghouta last week.

Questions are also being raised by opposition politicians in all three countries that took part in the air strikes. "We call on Russian Federation to take a hard look at the company it keeps, and live up to its responsibilities as a Permanent Member of the Council and defend the actual principles the United Nations was meant to promote", she said. "[Treasury Secretary Steven] Mnuchin will be announcing those on Monday if he hasn't already and they will go directly to any sort of companies that were dealing with equipment related to Assad and chemical weapons use".

The first image is from April 8 and the second is from Saturday. "We need to hold war criminals accountable".

That same day, Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler (NY) revisited Trump's old tweets, in which he chastised former President Barack Obama for ordering airstrikes on Syria without congressional approval, after Trump did the exact same thing.

Haley's Russian counterpart Vassily Nebenzia  hit back by accusing the US-led coalition of provoking conflict
Haley's Russian counterpart Vassily Nebenzia hit back by accusing the US-led coalition of provoking conflict

Vice President Mike Pence also said Trump carried out the strikes armed with USA intelligence that at "a minimum it was the chemical weapon of chlorine", noting investigators still might prove sarin was used.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who delayed a trip to Saudi Arabia to deal with the Syria crisis, said he had asked special envoy Staffan de Mistura to return to NY as soon as possible to chart a way forward.

"And what's most important is no one contests that the use of chemical weapons can not be tolerated and must be deterred", he said.

Assad attacked Douma because the rebels there refused to be evacuated to northern Syria, despite repeated assaults on the area, which is home to between 80,000 and 150,000 people. Officials in the US and other Western countries have blamed the Syrian government for that attack. Moscow slammed the joint United Nations and OPCW inquiry as flawed. The White House has since given out that it was guided by news reports and reports by other sources (probably NGOs) in accusing Bashar al-Assad. Various groups alleged that either chlorine, a nerve agent, or both were used in the attack.

President Donald Trump has warned Syria's government the USA is "locked and loaded" to strike again if it carries out new chemical attacks.

"When our president draws a red line, our president enforces the red line", Haley stressed.

Rockies star charges the mound and wild brawl breaks out
A short time later, Padres bench coach Mark McGwire was seen in a verbal confrontation with Arenado before both were separated. Marquez had thrown a towel from the edges of the skirmish to reignite tensions after the brawl had subsided.

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