US plans Syria-tied sanc­tions on Rus­sia

The Columbus Dispatch - - Front Page - By Carol Morello and James McAu­ley

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.

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