Nikki Haley: US prepared for military action in Syria if UN doesn't act

United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyFour names emerge for UN position: report Heather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN ambassador job United Methodist churches may cut ties with denomination over push to allow LGBT ministers MORE on Monday said the U.S. is willing to take military action to end the Syrian bombing of civilians if the U.N. is unable to do so.

“When the international community consistently fails to act, there are times when states are compelled to take their own action,” Haley told the Security Council, noting that this is one of those times.

“We warn any nation determined to impose its will through chemical attacks and inhuman suffering, but most especially the outlaw Syrian regime, the United States remains prepared to act if we must,” Haley said. “It is not a path we prefer. But it is a path we have demonstrated we will take, and we are prepared to take again.”

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Haley compared the current situation in Syria to a period last year when the Syrian government’s chemical weapon attacks led the U.S. to launch a missile attack against the Syrian military.

The council passed a resolution calling for a ceasefire in late February but it has been unable to put an end to the Syrian government’s bombings or get the government to permit humanitarian access.

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said the bombings in Ghouta have only gotten worse since the Security Council called for the ceasefire, noting that the Syrian government — helped by Russia and China — has significantly increased its controlled territory in the region.

Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisAllies wary of Shanahan's assurances with looming presence of Trump Congress closer to forcing Trump’s hand on Saudi support Trump nominates ambassador to Turkey MORE on Sunday warned the Syrian government that “it would be unwise for them to use weaponized gas” following reports of chlorine attacks in Ghouta, an area surrounding the capital city of Damascus.

Although Mattis did not threaten military action, he noted the previous airstrikes that followed a gas attack and said President TrumpDonald John TrumpRosenstein expected to leave DOJ next month: reports Allies wary of Shanahan's assurances with looming presence of Trump States file lawsuit seeking to block Trump's national emergency declaration MORE has “full political maneuver room” to take whatever action he deems necessary.

French President Emmanuel Macron, speaking at a press conference in India, also warned Syria that it would carry out targeted strikes if it found “irrefutable evidence” that chemical weapons were being used to kill civilians, Reuters reported.

The Syrian civil war is entering its eighth year.