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Russia Not To Delay Response Against US Sanctions: Deputy FM

17 April 2018

While Haley's comments made sanctions seem imminent, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Monday that "we are considering additional sanctions and a decision will be made in the near future".

Administration officials said Monday it was unlikely Trump would approve any additional sanctions without another triggering event by Russian Federation, describing the strategy as being in a holding pattern.

The U.S. -led strikes did nothing to alter the strategic balance or dent Assad's supremacy and the Western allies have said the aim was to prevent the further use of chemical weapons, not to intervene in the civil war or topple Assad.

On April 6, the US Treasury Department added 38 Russians, senior officials, and companies on its sanctions list, in response to Moscow's alleged "malign activity".

Three sites were hit - the Barzeh complex, which the USA says is a centre for development, production and testing of chemical and biological weapons, although Syria denies this.

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Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister Theresa May on Saturday said the military strikes on Syria were not about regime change, but about sending a clear message that the global community will not stand by and tolerate the use of chemical weapons. As fears of a Russia confrontation with Western powers mount, French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his "deep concerns" over the situation in Syria in a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The EU reiterated its condemnation of the use of chemical weapons on Syria, including the most recent reported attack, and said it supports the work of worldwide chemical weapons investigators.

But it is unclear how much capacity Syria retains to produce chemical weapons and whether the strikes chipped away at the government's political will to deploy them.

The United States, Britain and France fired more than 100 missiles at three alleged chemical weapons facilities early Saturday, angering Syria's military backer, Moscow, which threatened to retaliate.

Sergei Lavrov said: "I can guarantee that Russian Federation has not tampered with the site".

She said, "You will see that Russian sanctions will be coming down". On Thursday, Russia's military said Douma has been brought under full control of the Syrian government under a Russia-mediated deal that secured the evacuation of the rebels and thousands of civilians after it was recaptured by Syrian forces.

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The military strikes came in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma over a week ago. And they will go directly to any sort of companies that were dealing with equipment related to Assad and chemical weapons used.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson told the BBC he hopes there is no need for more strikes in Syria, but that Britain and its allies will consider further action if Assad uses chemical weapons again.

The US said 105 missiles were launched and it believed none were intercepted by Syrian defences.

On "Fox News Sunday", Haley again slammed Russian Federation, accusing it of enabling the Syrian government to use chemical weapons without worrying about blowback from the United Nations.

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Russia Not To Delay Response Against US Sanctions: Deputy FM