US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has defended Thursday's missile strikes on a Syrian military base. Russian Ambassador Vladimir Safronkov warned of "serious" consequences to international and regional stability.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley delivers remarks during a meeting of the UN Security Council on Syria, April 7, 2017.
US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley delivers remarks during a meeting of the UN Security Council on Syria, April 7, 2017.

The UN Security Council appeared divided during an emergency session on Friday where the US warned it is ready to hit Syria again after missile strikes that infuriated Russia and fuelled calls for a push to end the six-year war.

The US on Thursday 59 cruise missiles on a Syrian base from where the Washington asserted aircrafts were launched to drop chemical weapons on civilians in Syria's Idlib province earlier in the week.

The chemical attack killed at least 70 people and injured hundreds others.

During the session, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley defended the US's action and said it is prepared to do more.

"The United States took a very measured step last night," Haley told the council, adding, "we are prepared to do more, but we hope it will not be necessary."

She criticised Russia for supporting Syrian regime leader Bashar al-Assad.

"Every time Assad has crossed the line of human decency, Russia has stood beside him. Russia is supposed to have removed all the chemical weapons from Syria, but obviously that has not happened," said Haley.

She also said it was time to press on with diplomatic efforts to achieve a political solution to end the war.

British Permanent Representative to the UN Matthew Rycroft held that the US airstrike on the Syrian airfield is justified.

He asserted that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons on civilians several times.

He also slammed Russia for its support to the Assad regime.

"Without Russia's seven vetoes in the Security Council defying the views of other members of this council, Assad would now have faced sanctions and justice, " said Rycroft.

The representative of Russia, Ambassador Vladimir Safronkov, said the consequences of the US strike to international and regional stability could be extremely serious.

"We call upon the United States to immediately cease its aggression and to join those efforts being made for a political settlement in Syria and to work together to combat the terrorist threat," said Safronkov.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres urged restraint and a renewed push for peace in Syria, saying "there is no other way to solve the conflict than through a political solution."

Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey all supported Washington, with Ankara also calling for a no-fly zone in Syria.

Syria's deputy ambassador to the UN Mounzer Mounzer denied the use of chemical weapon by the Syrian regime and condemned the US strike on the country.

He required the US to cease what he called the aggression.

Iran's Rouhani condemns US strike

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday that "terrorists" were applauding his US counterpart Donald Trump for the missile strike on the Syrian airbase.

"This man who is now in office in America claimed that he wanted to fight terrorism but today all terrorists in Syria are celebrating the US attack," Rouhani said in a speech aired by state television.

He, however, backed calls for an independent inquiry into a suspected chemical weapons attack on a rebel-held town in northwestern Syria on Tuesday.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies