Nikki Haley Reports On The Emotional Climate In Russia, Post Assad Attacks

By Chaudhary Khalid Rafiq | Aug 09, 2017

United nations news — Nikki Haley, US envoy to the United Nations, claimed that Russia knew about Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons attack. In a CNN news interview with Jamie Gangel, Haley said the Russians did not seem shocked at the news of the attack. "I think that if you look at the fact that when this information came out, they didn't look shocked, they didn't look surprised. They were so quick to defend.”

According to CNN, US officials claim Russia “was trying to cover up the attack.”

Critical talks between the US and Russia regarding intervention in Syria, took place shortly after Haley’s claim. The meeting between US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson and Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, focused on “Assad’s use of chemical weapons on his own people.’  According to CNN, a US senior administration official confirmed that biological samples confirmed the use of Sarin. The attack took the lives of scores of civilians.

Haley further added that she thought Russia was “nervous”. "I think that they very much feel as if they've been weakened by Assad's actions and their cover up,” said Haley to Gangel. “They realize the international community didn't buy it and is not buying it. And they now have to figure out how to save face. We're giving them all the options to save face."

Lavrov says there is insufficient information about where the samples were taken from. “We have seen no confirmation that that was the case all the more so because the TV images showed that there were people on the airfield immediately after the strike and there was absolutely no evidence which would allow us to talk about the use of some kind of poisonous substances,” said Lavrov in reports from CNN.  “Anything the Russians say at this point, no one’s believing it,” said Haley.

US administration has not confirmed that Russia was behind the attack. According to Gangel, Haley’s statement contradicted the administration. “She’s not saying that there’s hard intelligence, but I think she was giving her opinion straight out from what the reaction was,” said Gangel. “My guess is that what we’re seeing is what the administration is saying privately.”

Gangel further added that “a spokesperson for [Haley] called and pushed back a little and said she really didn’t mean what she said.”

Haley describes Russia as “anxious”. "Russia is on an island, and they now have to decide whether they're going to stay on an island and lose anyone that's willing to work with them, or whether they're going to come back -- and not lose face -- and actually try and do something constructive," she said.

The White House asserts that Assad should step down to restore stability in Syria. According to reports by CNN’s Theodore Schleifer, “the administration would not commit to future military action there, but also did not rule it out.”

According to CNN, US Secretary of State, Tillerson said that  "steps are underway" to organize an international effort to remove Assad. He further warned that Russia should "consider carefully" its support the Syrian regime.


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