US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is a man of no conscience, who wants no peace in Syria, alongside Russia and Iran. The statement was made after a meeting of the UN Security Council called in the wake of the chemical attack in Syria. The meeting ended without a resolution.
The April 4th attack, qualified by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres as an unmatched war crime in its cruelty, took place in the northwestern rebel province of Idleb, leaving dozens dead, including children, as well as over 150 people injured, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
'We cannot close our eyes to those pictures', the US ambassador said, speaking to the UN Security Council. Radio Romania's correspondent to Washington, Doina Saiciuc, relates that Ms. Haley told the Council that the attack bore all the hallmarks of the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons, a regime that had previously used such weapons against its own people.
The gas left men, women, the elderly, and children, gasping for their very last breath, she said. In addition, she said that if the Security Council fails in its duty to act collectively, the United States would be compelled to take action. That is what happened two days later, with dozens of American cruise missiles striking an airbase in Syria, allegedly the place where the chemical attack originated.
US President Donald Trump explained that he ordered the attack because the Assad regime used chemical weapons against innocent civilians, in violation of international conventions. Russia, however, does not agree, saying that an attack against a state whose government fights against terrorism plays into the hands of extremists, creating even more threats against regional and global security.”
In addition, Moscow believes that the Syrian government did not use chemical weapons against civilians on April 4th in Idlib. In Moscow, the Russian Ministry of Defense submitted its own version of the incident. According to them, Syrian aircraft bombed a munitions depot in the east of Khan Sheihun housing chemical weapons. These weapons were also delivered to Iraq, where the authorities and international organizations proved they have been used by terrorists.
They were also used last autumn by Syrian radicals in Aleppo, according to Russian military experts, Moscow says. In Syria, the opposition warned that the attack puts into question the negotiations mediated by the United Nations in Geneva, which so far have led nowhere. Head of European diplomacy Federica Mogherini has been pleading for sustained efforts in mediating peace. We asked Stefan Popescu, international relations expert, about the chances for Syria to stabilize within this complicated situation:
Stefan Popescu: “Unfortunately, Syria, which was a pole of stability, even into the 1980s, led by Hafez al-Assad, whom everyone praised for his wisdom as a great strategist in the Middle and Near East, has become the epicenter of a long lasting crisis, the focal point of destabilization in the entire Middle East. It is an almost unending crisis, because of so many crisscrossing interests, not only in terms of local actors, but also of neighboring powers and the great powers. It is clear that the Islamic State is not a product of Islamic theology, but of the geostrategy in the Middle and Near East. It is the Sunni wish for revenge against the Shi'a, because as we can see, Sunnis lost power in Lebanon, Palestine and Syria.”
As well as in Iraq, of course. In spite of the general concern for finding a solution, the situation in Syria becomes more and more complicated. That happens, according to analysts, because it is not only about internal conflict between various factions, but also due to regional interests, the geopolitical and geostrategic interests in that area, which are getting worse and worse. The most recent round of talks for peace in Syria, held in late March in Geneva, did not yield any result.