State Department: Russia is Responsible For the Chemical Weapons Attack in Syria

|
 @KatiePavlich
|
Posted: Jan 24, 2018 11:00 AM
State Department: Russia is Responsible For the Chemical Weapons Attack in Syria

Earlier this week a chemical attack was again carried out against innocent civilians in Syria by President Bashir Assad's regime. It's no secret Assad is backed by the Russians and the State Department is specifically calling out the Kremlin for the attack. 

"The recent attacks in East Ghouta raise serious concerns that Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian regime may be continuing its use of chemical weapons against its own people. Whoever conducted the attacks, Russia ultimately bears responsibility for the victims in East Ghouta and countless other Syrians targeted with chemical weapons since Russia became involved in Syria," Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Tuesday evening.

"In September 2013, Russia pressed for, negotiated and agreed to the framework for the elimination of Syrian chemical weapons – a diplomatic understanding between the United States and Russia requiring the verifiable destruction of Syria’s entire chemical weapons stockpile," he continued. "In so doing, Russia assumed responsibility as guarantor for ensuring that its Syrian allies cease all use of chemical weapons and fully declare its chemical weapons stockpile for destruction under international oversight. Russia has not lived up to these commitments. Since two thousand – April 2014, there has been mounting evidence that Syria continues to illicitly possess chemical weapons and use them against its own people."

UN Ambassador Nikki Haley echoed Tillerson's sentiments during a Security Council meeting yesterday. 

"It's no coincidence that this week's chlorine gas attack reportedly happened in the exact place the Assad regime is trying to take over militarily. We know the Assad regime resorts to these brutal tactics when they want to re-take territory, without any regard for innocent civilians. And we know that for years, Russia has looked the other way while their Syrian friends use the despicable weapons of war. Russia is complicit in the Assad regime's atrocities," Haley said. 

After a chemical weapons attack was carried out in April 2017, the United States launched nearly 60 Tomahawk missiles into Syria. The missiles pounded an Assad airbase and damaged a runway being used by Russian and Syrian jets.

Meanwhile a new international partnership to prevent the use of chemical weapons has been created and is being applauded by the White House. 

"Russia has not lived up to these commitments. Since two thousand – April 2014, there has been mounting evidence that Syria continues to illicitly possess chemical weapons and use them against its own people," White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders released in a statement.