The US Ambassador to the United Nations Charges Syria and Russia for “Blood on their Hands”

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Echoing the words of the late US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, Haley did not hesitate to hold Syria and Russia responsible for the latest chemical attack in Eastern Ghouta, as well as to pressure the United Nations in what she deems as a decisive moment for the organization’s history.

Here are the key moments of her speech:

“Pictures of dead Syrians who are not soldiers, people who are not armed, people who are the very definition of innocent and non-threatening.” “the basements that Syrian families thought would shelter them from conventional bombs, were the worse place to be when chemical weapons fell from the sky.”

“It is impossible to know for certain how many have died because of access to Douma is cut-off by Assad’s forces, but dozens are dead that we know of and hundreds are wounded.”

“Ambulances and rescue vehicles have been repeatedly attacked, maximizing the number of dead civilians. Civil defence centers have been attacked in order to paralyze the medical response, to increase the suffering of the survivors. Who does this? Only a monster does this, only a monster targets civilians and then ensures that there are no ambulances to transfer the wounded. No hospital to save their lives. No doctors or medicine to ease their pain.”

“The Russian regime whose hands are all covered in the blood of Syrian children cannot be ashamed by pictures of its victims. We’ve tried that before. We must not overlook Russia and Iran’s role in enabling the Assad’s regime murderous destruction. Russian and Iran have military advisers at Assad’s airfields, and operation centers. Russian officials are on the ground helping direct the regime’s starve and surrender campaign. When the Syrian military pummels civilians, they rely on the military hardware given by Russia. Russia could stop this senseless slaughter if it wanted, but it stands with the Assad’s regime and supports without any hesitation. What is the point of trying to shame such people? After all, no civilized government would have anything to do with Assad’s murderous regime. Pictures of dead children mean little to governments like Russia who use their own resources to prop-up Assad. And this council, which saw these pictures last year, has failed to act, because Russia has stood in its way every single time. For a year we have allowed Russia to hold the lives of innocent Syrians hostage to its alliance with the Assad regime. This allowed Russia to also weaken the credibility of the United Nations. We are quick to condemn chemical weapons in the Security Council, but then Russia prevents any action, vetoing 5 resolutions on this issue alone, 11 vetoes all together to save Assad, and our lives go on as usual.”

“And now, here we are, confronted with the consequences of giving Russia a pass in the name of unity. A unity that Russia has shown many times before, they don’t want. Here we are in a world where chemical weapons use is becoming normalized. From an Indonesian airport, to an English village, to the homes and hospitals of Syria. Since the Assad regime used chemical weapons at Kan shaykun one year ago, chemical weapons have been reportedly used dozens of times. And this council does nothing. What we are dealing with today is not about a spat between the US and Russia, this is about the inhumane use of chemical agents on innocent civilians. Each and every one of the nations in this council are on record opposing the use of chemical weapons. There can be no more rationalization for our failure to act.”

“The United States is determined to see the monster who dropped chemical weapons on the Syrian people held to account.”

“We are on the edge of a dangerous precipice. The great evil of chemical weapons’ use that once unified the world in opposition is on the verge of becoming the new normal. The international community must not let this happen.”

“We are beyond appeals to conscience. We have reached the moment when the world must see justice done. History will record this as the moment when the Security Council either discharged its duty, or demonstrated its utter and complete failure to protect the people of Syria. Either way, the United States will respond.”