US plans Syria-tied sanctions on Russia
WASHINGTON — The Trump administration signaled Sunday that it will impose new sanctions as soon as Monday on Russia for supporting the Syrian regime as it allegedly conducted a deadly chemical attack against its own people.
The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, on Sunday announced the sanctions and President Donald Trump’s commitment to staying involved in the Syria crisis, hours before French President Emmanuel Macron took credit for helping turn around Trump’s plan to withdraw U.S. troops.
“Ten days ago, President Trump was saying that the United States would disengage from Syria,” Macron said Sunday night. “We convinced him that it was necessary to stay there long term.”
Haley, speaking on CBS News’ “Face the Nation,” suggested that there is no plan to pare down the U.S. presence in Syria soon. On Fox News Sunday, Haley said troop withdrawal would come after three goals have been accomplished: defeating Islamic State militants, ensuring that chemical weapons will not be used, and maintaining the ability to watch Iran.
The aim, she said, is “to see American troops come home, but we are not going to leave until we know we have accomplished those things.”
The White House on Sunday did not immediately address Macron’s comments, which he made during a televised debate with two journalists.
Haley, the administration’s most prominent diplomatic voice until a new secretary of state is confirmed, said the new round of sanctions will target Russian companies that have helped the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad make and deploy chemical weapons. A suspected chemical weapons attack on April 7 spurred the United States and its allies to launch more than 100 missiles at Syria over the weekend.