Şimal Çınar –TDO- U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley spoke during a U.N. Security Council meeting on February 5 in New York City about the long-lasting issue between US and Russia over accountability for chemical attacks in Syria. Haley said multiple chlorine gas attacks on civilians took place during recent weeks and accused Russia of protecting the Syrian President. She based this claim on Russia’s delay for the adoption of a council statement condemning the use of chemical weapons including a reported chlorine gas attack on Thursday in the suburb of Damascus. “Russia has delayed the adoption of this statement, a simple condemnation of Syrian children being suffocated by chlorine gas” Haley said. “This council has been outspoken on ending Syria’s use of chemical weapons, and yet, they continue.”

Haley stated that the Assad regime must urgently stop the use of chemical weapons and added “Our goal must be to end the use of these evil, unjustifiable weapons. We cannot hope to end the use of chemical weapons if those who use them escape the consequences of their action.”

Haley’s Russian counterpart, Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia responded by saying “It’s completely clear to us the goal is to basically accuse the Syrian government of chemical weapons use where no perpetrators have been identified.” He also accused Nikki Haley of "artificially heating up" the issue. Nebenzia reminded that the proposal his country introduced last month, to create a new mechanism to investigate future chemical attacks, was still an option.

However, Haley said Russia wants “to cherry pick investigators” and give the Security Council power to review the findings and decide what goes into the final report. As she already called Russia’s proposal a “distraction” previously, on Monday she added that Moscow was sending the Security Council “back to square one” in the efforts of stopping the use of chemical weapons.

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