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Haley hints at U.S. action on Syria if United Nations fails

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley stood dramatically before the Security Council Wednesday and held aloft gruesome photographs of victims from the deadly gas attack in Syria.

She was presiding over an emergency council session called to debate the attack, which many blame on Syrian President Bashar Assad, who the U.N. has said has used chemical weapons previously.

"We cannot close our eyes to those pictures," Haley said. "We cannot close our minds" to actions that must be taken.

Haley hinted that if the U.N. Security Council again failed to act, the United States might do so.

Defense Secretary James Mattis, meanwhile, was asked about possible U.S. response.

"It was a heinous act and will be treated as such," Mattis said at the Pentagon.

Just last week, the Trump administration had begun to suggest that removing Assad was no longer a priority-goal of U.S. policy in Syria.

Haley was especially critical of Russia, which backs Assad's regime and has threatened to veto any resolution that punishes Syria. Russian officials have sought to blame the deaths on anti-government rebels.

"Time and time again," Haley said, Russia "uses the same false narrative" and attempts to "place the blame on others."

Syrian government officials have also denied they used chemical or nerve gas weapons in the attack.

"The truth is Syria, Russia and Iran have no interest in peace," Haley said. Iran also supports Syria's Assad.

The session adjourned without resolutions or actions


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