U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley laid out scathing accusations against Russia while addressing the U.N. Security Council Tuesday in New York. These remarks stemmed directly from the actions of Russia and Russian-backed pro-Assad forces in Ghouta, Syria.
During her speech, Haley accused Russia of breaking the ceasefire, directly targeting humanitarian aid and bombing a school.
“After years of enduring siege and starvation, residents are surrendering eastern Ghouta,” Haley said. “The terrible irony of this moment must be stated and acknowledged: in the 30 days since the Security Council demanded a ceasefire, the bombardment of the people of eastern Ghouta has only increased.”
Haley wasn’t subtle when she accused Russia of being responsible for the current humanitarian crisis in Ghouta, stating that Russian and pro-Assad forces were deliberately targeting humanitarian aid transports, blocking them from reaching civilians and stealing medical equipment from supply convoys intended for civilians.
“Russia even had the audacity to claim that Russia is the only Council member implementing Resolution 2401. How can this possibly be true when in the first four days after the ‘ceasefire,’ Russian military aircraft conducted at least 20 daily bombing missions on Damascus and eastern Ghouta?”
According to Haley, Resolution 2401 calls for a 30-day ceasefire to allow food, medicine and other aid to be delivered to civilians.
Haley also accused Russia of colluding with the Syrian government during negotiations, saying that the Russian ambassador was seen leaving the room several times to talk privately with the Syrian representative.
“The possibilities for what was going on are only two – either Russia was informing their Syrian colleagues about the content of the negotiations, or Russia was taking directions from the Syrian colleagues about the content of the negotiations.”
According to the ambassador, 1700 civilians have been killed as a direct result of Russia’s failure to honor the ceasefire. Due to Russia’s permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council, the country continually blocks unilateral condemnation of Assad.