The Trump administration on Monday signaled it might be walking back U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley’s announcement that the U.S. plans to impose new sanctions on Russia as punishment for the suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria last week.
“We are considering additional sanctions on Russia and a decision will be made in the near future,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, despite Haley’s remarks on Sunday that indicated the sanctions would be put into effect on Monday.
In an interview with CBS News’ “Face the Nation,” Haley said the sanctions would be placed directly on “any sort of companies that were dealing with the equipment related to Assad and chemical weapons use.”
“So I think everyone is going to be feeling it at this point,” she told host Margaret Brennan. “I think everyone knows that we sent a strong message, and our hope is that they listen to us.”
The United States, U.K., and France also launched a targeted missile strike at three locations key to the Syrian chemical weapons program as retaliation for the attack in Douma that killed nearly 40 civilians, including women and children.
Russia has denied any involvement in the attack, though President Donald Trump’s administration has publicly held the Kremlin responsible for backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and for its attempts to “cover up” the incident.
Assad has also denied involvement.
On Sunday, Haley also warned that the United States could become victim to a similar chemical weapons attack if preventative measures were not taken.