U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley ripped inaction by the Security Council on Syrian chemical weapons use during a speech Wednesday, saying "we are rapidly sliding backward, crossing back into a world that we thought we left."
Haley discussed the "horror" of chemical weapons use throughout history, beginning with World War I, and how the globe appeared to unifiy in its opposition to their usage over time.
"We dared to believe that chemical weapons would one day be something that we would only read about in the history books," she said. "We dared to believe that we could banish the threat forever. Then came Syria."
Haley recounted the 2013 sarin attack by Bashar al-Assad's regime against its own people and how "our shared disgust" led to U.N. action mandating destruction of Syria's chemical weapons arsenal. However, the Assad regime has continued to use chemical weapons since then.
Haley noted "one member of this council shielded the Assad regime from any consequences," referring to Russia, and she said there were credible reports of chlorine gas attacks in recent weeks as Assad seized eastern Ghouta.
"It's a sad fact just a few years ago, a single chemical weapons attack would have united us in shock and anger," Haley said. "It would have been enough for us to take immediate action. Now we have a regime that uses chemical weapons practically every other week.
"Our lack of action has consequences. When we let one regime off the hook, other stake notice. The use of nerve agents in Salisbury and Kuala Lumpur proves this point, and reveals a dangerous trend. We are rapidly sliding backward, crossing back into a world that we thought we left. No one wants to live in a world where chemical weapons are used."
Haley concluded that the U.S. refuses to believe that despite the council member's significant differences, it couldn't come together to stop chemical weapons use.