US, France Threaten to Strike Syrian Regime

US, France Threaten to Strike Syrian Regime

Tuesday, 13 March, 2018 - 06:45
A wounded Syrian girl receives treatment at a makeshift hospital following air strikes on the rebel-held besieged town of Douma in Eastern Ghouta. (AFP)
New York, Beirut, Amman - Ali Barda and Asharq Al-Awsat
Washington and Paris warned on Monday they will launch targeted strikes against Syria over the ongoing violence by regime forces.

French President Emmanuel Macron said that his country is ready to launch targeted strikes against any site in Syria used to deploy chemical attacks that result in the deaths of civilians.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley meanwhile warned that Washington remains prepared to stop indiscriminate bombing of civilians in Syria.

"The Security Council failed to act and the United States successfully struck the air base from which (regime head Bashar) Assad had launched this chemical attack. We repeat that warning today ... the United States is prepared to act if we must,” she said.

During a UN Security Council meeting in New York on Monday, the US, France and Britain made fierce accusations against Russia, saying it was responsible for not implementing a resolution adopted on February 24 and which demanded a ceasefire across Syria without delay for at least 30 days to deliver humanitarian aid and evacuate the wounded and critically ill.

Russia's UN ambassador Vassily Nebenzia again defended Syrian and Russian military operations there, saying "the suburbs of Damascus cannot remain a hotbed of terrorism,” and instead accused militants, including those linked to al-Qaeda, of undermining the ceasefire.

Meanwhile, civilians clashed on Monday with opposition armed factions in Damascus’ Eastern Ghouta after local residents staged protests demanding parties to reach an agreement and end the fighting.

Protestors were fired at by armed factions from Eastern Ghouta, leaving one civilian dead, the first such incident reported in light of the military offensive launched by regime forces in the area.

Those factions also infiltrated more than a half of the area, cutting off roads and ignoring international calls to stop the fighting.

On the battlefield, Syrian jets struck rebel-held towns in the country’s south, the first aerial attacks on the area since the US and Russia reached an agreement making it a “de-escalation zone” last year, rebels and residents told Reuters.

The news agency quoted two rebel officials as saying that at least eight raids struck the rebel-held towns of Busr al-Harir, Hrak, al-Gharaiya al-Gharbiya and al-Sowara in rural areas in eastern Daraa province.

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