The United States strongly condemns the April 7 chemical attack in Douma, Syria, allegedly targeting a hospital.
In his remarks before a cabinet meeting on April 9, President Donald J. Trump condemned the "heinous attack on innocent Syrians with banned chemical weapons," adding, "we are studying that situation extremely closely."
The U.S. condemns the heinous attack on innocent Syrians, and will use all efforts available to hold those who use chemical weapons, in #Syria and otherwise, accountable.— Department of State (@StateDept) April 10, 2018
"This is about humanity. We’re talking about humanity. And it can’t be allowed to happen." - @POTUS pic.twitter.com/pQOgRLUwdw
In a statement released on April 7, Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said, "Reports from a number of contacts and medical personnel on the ground indicate a potentially high number of casualties, including among families hiding in shelters. These reports, if confirmed, are horrifying and demand an immediate response by the international community."
"The United States continues to use all efforts available to hold those who use chemical weapons, in Syria and otherwise, accountable."
- Spokesperson Nauert
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley spoke about the attack during two emergency United Nations Security Council briefings on chemical weapons use in Syria.
On April 9, Ambassador Haley said, "History will record this as the moment when the Security Council either discharged its duty or demonstrated its utter and complete failure to protect the people of Syria. Either way, the United States will respond."
Following the April 10 Russian veto of a U.S.-sponsored draft resolution on the use of chemical weapons in Syria, Ambassador Haley explained the situation surrounding the vote.
"When the people of Douma, along with the rest of the international community, looked to this Council to act, one country stood in the way. History will record that. History will record that, on this day, Russia chose protecting a monster over the lives of the Syrian people."
- Ambassador Haley
.@USUN Amb. Haley: The record will not be kind to one permanent member of the #UNSC. Unfortunately #Russia has chosen the Assad regime again over the unity of this council. We have said it before that Russia will stop at nothing to shield the Assad regime. And here is our answer. pic.twitter.com/7xkFzvWwCX— Department of State (@StateDept) April 10, 2018
For more information on the current situation in Syria:
- U.S. Mission to the UN: Remarks Before a Vote on a Draft UN Security Council Resolution on the Use of Chemical Weapons in Syria (April 10)
- The White House: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Sarah Sanders (April 9)
- DipNote: The Readout: A Conversation With the Producers of 'Last Men in Aleppo'
Editor’s Notes: This entry was updated on April 11 to reflect new briefings at the UN Security Council. This entry also appears in the U.S. Department of State’s publication on Medium.