US, France Issue Stern Warnings against Syria over Chemical Attacks

"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 chemical weapons use in the country.

Haley ended her statement by saying that if the United Nations couldn't stop violence in Syria, then the U.S. would act on its own.

"Despite some limited convoy deliveries, the provision of humanitarian aid and services has not been safe, unimpeded or sustained", explained U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres on Monday.

Haley's statement follows French President Emmanuel Macron's statement on Monday that France would launch attacks on any Syrian facilities used to launch chemical weapons attacks, much as the U.S. did in April 2017. Russia, Haley claimed, negotiated loopholes into a ceasefire deal struck by the Security Council in February.

Vasily Nebenzya said that the Nusra Front* militants used chemical weapons in East Ghouta, injuring 30 civilians.

Karel van Oosterom, U.N. Security Council President and the UN's representative to the United Nations, expressed concern for the humanitarian situation in eastern Ghouta and reiterated calls for an immediate commitment to the ceasefire already in place.

"We are very much concerned that the alleged chemical use might be a pretext for something bigger and much more unsafe", Russian U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told Reuters.

Syrian government forces pounded rebel towns in Eastern Ghouta with air strikes on Monday, as troops edged closer to retaking the battered opposition enclave outside Damascus.

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The Security Council demanded a 30-day ceasefire across Syria in a unanimously adopted February 24 resolution.

"Has the situation reversed and Russian Federation is now the tool of Assad, or worse, Iran?"

Last month's cease fire was passed with the support of Russian Federation, but only after modifications were made allowing military strikes against "terrorist" groups.

"Every minute we delayed meant more people were killed, but the Russian delegation stalled and drew out the talks".

Recapturing the enclave would mark one of the most significant victories for President Bashar Assad in the seven-year civil war. "The hospitals are full of terrorists". Syrian state-run news agency SANA said that another two civilians had been killed by rockets launched by rebels on the Al-Kabbas area of Damascus.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the government forces have captured 60 percent of Eastern Ghouta since unleashing an offensive in that area late last month.

She was referring to a massive missile attack President Donald Trump ordered almost a year ago, in April 2017, on a Syrian base thought to be the source of a series of chemical weapons attacks on civilians. "When the worldwide community consistently fails to act, there are times when states are compelled to take their own action", Haley told the 15-member Security Council, stressing that a cease-fire resolution adopted by the Security Council two weeks ago "has failed".

On Monday, Haley told the Security Council that if the 15-member body failed to act on Syria then Washington "remains prepared to act if we must", just as it did in April a year ago when the United States bombed a Syrian government air base it said was used to launch a deadly chemical weapons attack.

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