Haley: If Assad Uses Chemical Weapons Again, ‘There Will Be More’ Strikes ‘And It Will Hurt’

• April 15, 2018 10:16 am


United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley said Sunday if Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad continues to use chemical weapons, the U.S. will again take action "and it will hurt."

Following coordinated air strikes by the U.S., Britain and France against Assad's chemical weapons infrastructure Friday night, Haley relayed to the U.N. Security Council on Saturday that the U.S. was "locked and loaded" should Assad use poison gas on his own people again.

President Donald Trump ordered the strike Friday in retaliation for Assad's reported chemical attack on the rebel-held suburb of Douma on April 7.

While Trump said Friday the U.S. was "prepared to sustain the response" if Assad continued to deploy banned chemical agents, Defense Secretary James Mattis told reporters "this is a one-time shot."

"Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace played the clips of the two men and asked Haley "which is it?"

"That is totally up to Assad," Haley said. "What I can tell you is the president has made it very clear that when it comes to weapons of mass destruction, we have no tolerance for it. We are going to watch out for the best interests of the American people. He made a point and hopefully Assad gets it. If Assad doesn't get it, it's going to hurt."

"I think what General Mattis was saying these strikes happened basically responding to their continued use of chemical weapons, but of course if Assad continues to go forward, there will be more, and it will hurt, and I think that he has a lot to think about," she added.

Haley hedged, however, when Wallace asked if that meant any chemical weapons use by Assad in the future would trigger an immediate military response.

"I don't think there's any way that I can answer that," she said. "We don't know what he's going to do, the level he's going to do or anything else. I will tell you the president is watching and I think the national security team is ready. So basically we will watch his actions. He now dictates his life, and he dictates what happens between the United States, our allies his regime."

Hopefully he "got the message," she said.