US 'Locked and Loaded' If Syria Uses Chemical Weapons Again
The United States has warned it “is locked and loaded” to strike Syria if there are any more chemical attacks, hours after more than 100 bombs targeted facilities in Damascus and Homs said to be associated with the use of chemical weapons.
Speaking to an emergency session of the UN Security Council on Saturday, Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, said, “If the Syrian regime uses this poisonous gas again, the United States is locked and loaded.
“When our president draws a red line, our president enforces the red line.”
The US, UK and France targeted three sites across Syria on Saturday, including: The Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Centre in Damascus’ Barzeh district, the Him Shinshar Chemical Weapons Storage Facility, 20km west of Homs and the Him Shinshar Chemical Weapons Bunker Facility, just more than 7 km from the storage facility.
Haley said the US and its allies “acted, not as revenge” but to “deter the future use of chemical weapons by holding the Syrian regime responsible for its atrocities against humanity”.
However, her Russian counterpart, Vassily Nebenzia, called on the Security Council to condemn the strikes.
“Today is not the day to shirk your responsibilities,” he said. “The whole world is looking at you. Take a principled stand.”
But Russia failed to garner the necessary votes, and was instead handed a stinging diplomatic defeat.
Only three countries – Russia , China and Bolivia – backed the resolution which called the US and its allies’ strikes an “aggression” against Syria.