Syrian President Assad, in an interview with a Venezuelan television station, said he has been conducting negotiations with Russia to acquire the most sophisticated missile intercept system of its kind, the advanced S-400 surface to air missiles system, in order to combat future attacks by Israel and the United States. President Assad asserted that the attacks by the United States and Israel against his country proved their ongoing support, of what he termed, “the terrorists who are fighting against him.”
The allegations against both Washington and Jerusalem came as US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, urged the Security Council to focus on exerting pressure on Russia to try and end the Syrian conflict, as Moscow continues to cover for the Assad regime, which thwarts international attempts to transfer humanitarian aid to besieged areas, and is solely responsible for the ongoing atrocities committed in the war-torn-country. Ambassador Haley continued by pressing on the most powerful body at the United Nations for an international mandate to act in Syria, even if it would face yet another veto by Moscow.
“And I listened to my Russian colleague and he talked about task forces and diplomacy and less criticism of the Syrian regime. Where has that gotten us? It hasn’t gotten us anywhere. And then the times where we could actually do something as the Security Council, who’s the one member state that continues to protect the regime that’s keeping this humanitarian assistance from going through. So I will tell you, many of you said we need to put pressure on the Syrian regime. That’s actually not the case. We need to put pressure on Russia because Russia continues to cover for the Syrian regime. Russia continues to allow them to keep humanitarian aid from the people that need it. Russia continues to cover for a leader who uses chemical weapons against his own people. Russia continues to veto and Assad continues to do these things because they know Russia will continue to cover for them,” said Haley.
Russia’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations rejected the American rhetoric against his country, stressing the fact that Moscow was responsible, together with Turkey and Iran, for a nationwide cessation of hostilities, while accusing the West of refraining from exerting pressure on opposition groups to comply with various diplomatic efforts, even though they have some influence on those rebel groups, some of which are openly linked to Al-Qaeda.
“Russia, and this was stressed by many who took the floor today, Russia, Turkey and Iran are bearing their weight of work. To ensure that there is compliance with the cessation of hostilities, which is the best manner to ensure an improvement of the humanitarian situation in Syria. either you nor Western colleagues said a single word about what you are doing so as to improve the situation. How are you bringing pressure to bear on the moderate or non-moderate opposition that you have influence on, while Mr. O’Brien (UN aid chief to Syria) in his report did directly touch upon those areas that are surrounded or controlled by terrorists,” said Petr Illichev, Russia’s Deputy Ambassador to the UN.