National Security

Trump Admin Calls Out Russia for Supporting Syrian Regime’s Use of Chemical Weapons on Civilians

State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert called out Russia on Thursday for enabling the Syrian regime's use of chemical weapons on civilians.

Russia has supported Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his regime's fight against rebels and in laying siege to the city of Aleppo, which resulted in a large number of civilian casualties. Chlorine has been one of the regime's frequently used methods to gain control in the civil war.

Russia continues to deny having a role in the attacks.

"The Secretary recently talked about this and let me just underscore and highlight some of the important things that we would like to see take place in regard to Russia as it pertains to Syria: They need to stop using chemical weapons, Syria does," Nauert said. "But we also know that chemical weapons use is enabled by Russia."

Nauert mentioned the frequency of the use of chemical weapons that have been used on Syrian civilians, which includes an attack last Sunday.

"Let me remind you, six times in the last 30 days, some form of chemical weapons have been used on the Syrian people," Nauert said. "It's disgusting, it's horrific, and it's evil. And we would like to see that stopped. But we'll keep following this. We'll keep working on it. The government is meeting; I have to assure you that this is a top issue for us."

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Monday also criticized Russian efforts to "whitewash" the Syrian government's use of chemical weapons.

"It's a true tragedy that Russia has sent us back to square one in the effort to end chemical weapons use in Syria," Haley said. "But we will not cease in our efforts to know the truth of the Assad regime and ensure that truth is known and acted on by the international community."