The United States has warned it is ready to hit Syria again after a missile strike that angered Russia and increased calls for a push to end the six-year war.
Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador, delivered the warning at an emergency session of the UN Security Council called after the US strikes.
The US said it launched the strikes to punish an alleged chemical weapons attack by Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
Meanwhile, Assad’s ally Russia declared President Donald Trump’s first strike against the Damascus regime a violation of international law and an “act of aggression.”
“The United States took a very measured step last night,” Haley told the council. “We are prepared to do more, but we hope it will not be necessary.”
Haley said the strike destroyed an air field from which Washington believes Damascus launched the attack on rebel-held Khan Sheikhun, where 86 people including 27 children died this week.
Rights monitors warned, however, that Syrian jets were already flying sorties from the base again as night fell Friday.
The United States fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles from warships in the Mediterranean at the Shayrat airfield near Homs in central Syria.
Assad’s office called the strike “foolish and irresponsible,” and Moscow announced a series of retaliatory steps including plans to strengthen Syrian air defenses.
“The United States will no longer wait for Assad to use chemical weapons without any consequences,” Haley said. “Those days are over.”