During a meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Friday, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley delivered remarks to provide justification for the United States’ airstrike on a Syrian airfield.
Following a strongly worded speech from a Russian envoy in which he claimed America’s action constituted a “flagrant violation” of international law and excoriated Haley personally for showing pictures of the victims of Syria’s chemical attack on the U.N. floor earlier this week, the former South Carolina governor responded in a calm but forceful manner.
Reiterating comments made by President Donald Trump the night before, Haley said that the United States won’t “stand by when chemical weapons are used” and that “it is in our vital national security interest to prevent the spread and use of chemical weapons.”
“It was time to say enough,” she continued. “It was time to act. [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad must never use chemical weapons again, ever.”
Besides delivering harsh condemnation of the Syrian regime, Haley also took aim at Russia due to its close relationship with Syria and Assad.
“Every time Assad has crossed the line of human decency,” she stated. “Russia has stood beside him.”
On top of that, she highlighted the fact that Russia was supposed to guarantee that Syria removed all chemical weapons following Assad’s 2013 chemical attack.
“It could be that Russia is knowingly allowing chemical weapons to remain in Syria,” Haley noted. “It could be that Russia has been incompetent in its efforts to remove the chemical weapons. Or it could be that the Assad regime is playing the Russians for fools.”
She concluded her remarks by stating that the U.S. is “prepared to do more” but hopes “that will not be necessary.”