United States Condemns Syria Chemical Attack

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The Acting Secretary of State, the President and the Deputy Secretary of Defense sit at a table during a White House Cabinet meeting. The President is speaking, as the other two men look towards him.
Acting Secretary of State John Sullivan, left, and Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, right, listen as President Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting at the White House, Monday, April 9, 2018, in Washington.

United States Condemns Syria Chemical Attack

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." 

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

For more information on the current situation in Syria:

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.