The United States took a very measured step that was “fully justified” when it fired missiles at a Syrian airfield over a deadly toxic gas attack, said UN Ambassador Nikki Haley on Friday.
“We are prepared to do more, but we hope that will not be necessary,” she told the UN Security Council. “The United States will not stand by when chemical weapons are used. It is in our vital national security interest to prevent the spread and use of chemical weapons.”
Russian UN envoy accuses US of violating international law in Syria
Russia’s UN envoy accused the United States on Friday of violating international law by carrying out military strikes in Syria.
“The United States attacked the territory of sovereign Syria. We describe that attack as a flagrant violation of international law and an act of aggression,” Deputy Ambassador Vladimir Safronkov told the Security Council.
The council was meeting in an emergency session after the United States launched a barrage of missile strikes on a Syrian air base in retaliation for a suspected chemical attack.
France and Britain said the US response was “appropriate” and laid the blame on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Eighty-six people including at least 27 children died in the suspected attack on Tuesday in Khan Sheikhun, a rebel-held town in Syria’s Idlib province.
Results from post-mortems performed on victims point to exposure to the deadly sarin nerve agent, according to Turkish health officials.
The council meeting was called by Bolivia, which also branded the US strikes a violation of international law.
Bolivian Ambassador Sacha Lorenti said the United States had behaved like “investigator, attorney, judge and executioner” in Syria.
“This is not what international law is all about,” he told reporters.
The UN Security Council met Friday at 11:30 am (1530 GMT) to discuss the US missile strikes on Syria, US diplomats said.
Russia demanded an emergency meeting after angrily denouncing the military action as an “aggression against a sovereign state.”
US President Donald Trump on Thursday ordered cruise missile strikes on a Syrian air base in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack on a rebel-held town that killed 86 people and shocked the world.
The strike -- the first direct US action against President Bashar al-Assad and Trump’s biggest military decision since taking office -- marked a dramatic escalation in American involvement in Syria’s six-year war.