The United States presented a new UN draft resolution on Syria on Monday calling for a 30-day cessation of hostilities in the Damascus suburb of East Ghouta less than a month after the previous resolution demanding a ceasefire across all the Syrian territory was unanimously passed by the UN Security Council.
“We have drafted a new ceasefire resolution that provides no room for evasion,” US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said in reference to Syrian army’s operation against terrorists in East Ghouta, who keep launching attacks on Damascus despite the ongoing ceasefire.
“It is simple, straightforward and binding. It will take effect immediately upon adoption by this Council. It contains no counterterrorism loopholes for Assad, Iran and the Russians to hide behind,” she stressed when presenting the resolution, saying that the previous one had “failed.”
Russian UN envoy Vasily Nebenzya fired back at the statement by Haley, stressing that Damascus has “every right to try to remove the threat to the safety of its citizens,” referring to the terrorists who have entrenched themselves in East Ghouta as a “hotbed of terrorism.”
UN Resolution 2401, which was unanimously passed by the Security Council on February 24, called on the parties to the Syrian conflict to stop all hostilities and adhere to a humanitarian pause across Syria in order to ensure the safe and unhindered delivery of humanitarian aid, as well as medical evacuations for those injured.
Chemical Weapons Use in Eastern Ghouta
Haley also said that Washington will act in Syria regarding the chemical weapons use if the UN Security Council doesn’t.
“We also warn any nation that is determined to impose its will through chemical attacks and inhuman suffering, most especially the outlaw Syrian regime, the United States remains prepared to act if we must,” Haley said.
Vasily Nebenzya said that Nusra Front* militants used chemical weapons in East Ghouta, injuring 30 civilians.
“This was done in order to prepare the ground for unilateral military actions against sovereign Syria,” Nebenzya said in reference to the attempts to put the blame on the Syrian government for the use of chemical weapons in the country.
After the alleged use of chemical weapons in Eastern Ghouta in January, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that Damascus could be using chemical weapons; he also said that Russia is responsible for the victims because of its engagement in Syria.
The Russian Foreign Ministry then said Washington was spreading mass propaganda against Moscow in an attempt to demonize the Syrian government and subsequently topple it, underscoring that the information on the chemical attacks used by the United States was uncorroborated.
Damascus has repeatedly stated that it has given up its chemical weapons stockpiles, which was confirmed by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in 2016.
* a terrorist group banned in Russia