World

United States threatens to act in Syria as it pushes new UN ceasefire

United States threatens to act in Syria as it pushes new UN ceasefire

On Monday, Syrian forces pounded two rebel towns in Eastern Ghouta, pressing on with a Russia-backed offensive that has so far allowed government fighters to retake almost 60 percent of the enclave.

"But it is a path we have demonstrated we will take, and we are prepared to take again". "We all throw options out on the table and then the president will decide".

"We also warn any nation that is determined to impose its will through chemical attacks and inhumane suffering, most especially the outlaw Syrian regime, the USA remains prepared to act if we must", Haley added, singling out Russian Federation for aiding Assad's regime.

Karel van Oosterom, U.N. Security Council President and the UN's representative to the United Nations, expressed concern for the humanitarian situation in eastern Ghouta and reiterated calls for an immediate commitment to the ceasefire already in place.

Eastern Ghouta has been besieged for years after many of its residents joined the initial protests against Assad's rule in 2011 that triggered the slide into civil war.

Seven years of conflict in Syria have left more than 350,000 people dead, according to an updated overall death toll compiled by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

"We have to decide what action are we going to take on everything else that's happening", said Haley during her Central America trip.

Vasily Nebenzya said that the Nusra Front* militants used chemical weapons in East Ghouta, injuring 30 civilians.

Russian Federation says it is targeting specific jihadist groups that were excluded from the ceasefire by the previous resolution, adding that it has offered to evacuate civilians.

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"If we can't count on the members of the Council to honor their agreements we can't accomplish anything".

"You're making everybody happy except for the people of Syria. There should be only one agenda for all of us - to end the suffering of the Syrian people and find a political solution to the conflict".

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the council that air strikes, shelling and ground offensives had intensified in Eastern Ghouta since the ceasefire resolution was adopted on February 24.

"The ceasefire has failed", Haley continued. Sweden and Kuwait delayed calling a vote for several days in a successful bid to win Russia's support by dampening language on when a truce would start.

"What we are talking about is a preliminary agreement among the parties as a preconditon for sustained de-escalation in all hard areas of Syria, not only Eastern Ghouta", he said.

The council is also considering a separate USA push for the creation of a new inquiry into who is to blame for chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

"Syria is Russia's. They took ownership of it, they need to fix it and now they're whining because they can't", Haley said during her Central America trip.

She vowed to close any room for evasion, though it is unclear how it could win the backing of Russian Federation, which has used its veto power to protect the Syrian government in the past.

"We have heard hints of that in the statements of some delegations today", Nebenzia said.


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