Nikki Haley has warned Syria's President that the US would strike again without hesitation if he was to carry out another chemical attack.
The US has warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against any military move, saying if he doesn’t learn from the weekend’s forceful allied response “it’s going to hurt”.
In the early hours of Saturday morning, Donald Trump in league with French president Emmanuel Macron and UK Prime Minister Theresa May, ordered a precision strike on three sites understood to be critical to Assad’s chemical weapons program.
The retaliatory raid — in response to the Assad regime’s suspected toxic gas attack on Douma last weekend — was trumpeted by the US President as “mission accomplished”.
A perfectly executed strike last night. Thank you to France and the United Kingdom for their wisdom and the power of their fine Military. Could not have had a better result. Mission Accomplished!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 14, 2018
Pentagon officials declared the strike had taken the “heart” out of Syria’s chemical weapons program, but they’re also wary Assad still has the means to carry out another chemical attack on the Syrian people.
This is because the targeted sites were limited as not to provoke Syria’s powerful allies Russia and Iran unnecessarily.
“I would say there’s still a residual element of the Syrian program that’s out there,” the Pentagon’s Joint Staff director Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie said.
“I’m not going to say that they’re going to be unable to continue to conduct a chemical attack in the future. I suspect, however, they’ll think long and hard about it.”
At an emergency United Nations Security Council meeting called by Russia in the wake of the allied assault, US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said America was “locked and loaded” if Assad was to test the West again.
“We are confident that we have crippled Syria’s chemical weapons program,” Haley said.
“We are prepared to sustain this pressure, if the Syrian regime is foolish enough to test our will.”
We are prepared to sustain this pressure, if the Syrian regime is foolish enough to test our will.
She maintained the strong rhetoric on Fox News Sunday.
“We of course know our work in Syria is not done,” she said.
“We know that it is now up to Bashar al-Assad on whether he is going to use chemical weapons again, and should he use it again, the president has made it very clear that the United States is locked and loaded and ready to go.”
“If Assad doesn’t get it, it’s going to hurt.”
Strike condemned by Syria’s allies
Russia is looking for the US, France and UK to receive retribution from the UN, as it deems the military strike to be a breach of international law.
“The United States and its allies continue to demonstrate blatant disregard for international law,” said Russian ambassador to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya.
“It’s time for Washington to learn that the international code of behaviour regarding the use of force is regulated by the United Nations Charter.”
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran, also labelled it a “crime”, and said it was just one of many the West has carried out in the Middle East over the years.
“But they will not benefit from this attack, just as they committed similar crimes over the past years during their presence in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan and did not benefit from them,” he said.