Nikki Haley says Russia will face new sanctions over Syria
“We wanted (Syria’s) friends Iran and Russia to know that we meant business, and that they were going to be feeling the pain from this as well.” U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley
The price Syria paid for using chemical weapons on its citizens was a military strike. Now Russia will pay an economic price for supporting the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley said Sunday.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will announce details of the sanctions Monday, Haley told CBS’ Face the Nation.
“They will go directly to any sort of companies that were dealing with equipment related to Assad and chemical weapons use,” Haley said. “We wanted their friends Iran and Russia to know that we meant business, and that they were going to be feeling the pain from this as well.”
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Sunday the sanctions are being imposed “without any link to any realities.”
“Now they punish us for the mere fact of being in the global arena,” she said.
President Trump previously issued sanctions against Russia in August, accusing President Vladimir Putin’s government of tampering with the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The legislation also called Putin out on human rights abuses and other issues. The military strikes in Syria early Saturday were a joint effort of the U.S., France and Britain.
More than 100 precision missiles targeted a scientific research center near Damascus, a chemical weapons storage facility west of Homs and a storage facility and command post near Homs.
Haley stressed the U.S. was “not looking for war” and “not looking to kill people.”
“This was a very strong attack on the chemical weapons program,” she said.
Trump expressed elation on Twitter, describing the strike as “perfectly executed .... Mission Accomplished!” Putin, however, in a phone call with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, described the attack as a violation of international law.
Putin said such actions will inevitably lead to “chaos” in international relations, according to a readout released by the Kremlin.
Haley said Assad was “not worthy” of direct talks with the U.S. But she said the United Nations would continue to work on a diplomatic solution. And she said the time had come for Russia and Iran to engage in a serious effort to bring peace to the nation that has been decimated by seven years of civil war.
“It’s not moving near as fast as any of us want it to move, but this is a political process that needs to happen.”
Some experts are skeptical that the air strikes will help the political process.
“The Trump-May-Macron bombardment of Syria did not kill many people, and it has not caused World War III,” said Charles Glass, an author who specializes in the Middle East. “Far from ending the war in Syria, it is likely to prolong it.”
U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley says the U.S. will impose new sanctions on Russia that “go directly to any sort of companies that were dealing with equipment related” to Syria’s president and chemical weapons. JASON SZENES/EPA-EFE