Chemical weapons

A year later, Trump adds to Russia sanctions for former spy poisoning

In this image, Trump walks by Putin and smiles at him.
President Trump looks at Russian President Vladimir Putin at the 2018 G20 Leaders' Summit. Photo: Alexander Nemenov/AFP/Getty Images

The Trump administration has issued a second round of economic sanctions against Russia in connection with the March 2018 nerve agent poisoning of Russian former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, England.

Why it matters: The administration was under bipartisan criticism from lawmakers in recent weeks. Many claimed the administration had delayed "legally mandated action to follow up on sanctions imposed last August," the NYT reports.

Expert Voices

Idlib airstrikes by Russia and Assad test U.S. resolve in Syria

rubble of a building hit by an airstrike, with people standing in the background
Buildings destroyed by a reported regime airstrike on the town of Ariha, in the south of Syria's Idlib province, on July 24. Photo: Omar Haj Kadour/AFP/Getty Images

A renewed onslaught by the Syrian and Russian governments against opposition-held areas of Idlib reflects both the conflict's ongoing toll and the loss of American influence over events on the ground.

The big picture: The State Department condemned this week's attacks, which have killed at least 36 civilians, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called for "an immediate ceasefire" and "return to the political process." Since April, airstrikes across Syria's northwest attributed to Russia and forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad have killed at least 606 civilians, including 157 children, and displaced up to 300,000 people.