>> Diplomacy met high drama Friday when the UN Security Council held an emergency meeting to discuss the American missile strikes on Syria. The session showing the start divide upon the 15 members over the US's unilateral of force against an air base in Syria associated with a poison gas attack earlier this week that is being blamed on the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
>> This charter prohibits unilateral actions.>> The greatest war criminal of all, Bashar al-Assad, has now been put on notice.>> United States attacked the territory of sovereign Syria is a flagrant violation of international law and an act of aggression.>> We were fully justified in doing so.
>> Reuters UN bureau chief Michelle Nichols says the drama started even before the session opened.>> Bolivia actually requested a closed door meeting. But the US ambassador Nikki Haley put out a statement saying that if anyone was wanting to defend Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad and the gas attack which the Western powers have accused his forces of carrying out.
They could do so in an open chamber.>> There were familiar sides in this debate. The US, United Kingdom, and France, versus Russia. But even among US allies such as Italy, who supported the American air strikes, there are questions about how the US justified the attack on another UN member.
>> In 2014, the United States sent a letter to the United Nations to justify their military campaign against Islamic State militants in Syria, under Article 51 of the UN Charter. Which allows countries to take actions for self-defense or collective self-defense. Diplomats said that the United States has sent no such letter to the UN over their action last night.
They're not trying to justify it under Article 51 at this point. The United States could have also sought UN Security Council approval for military action in Syria. They did not do this, and even if they tried to do so, it's likely that Syrian ally Russia probably would have vetoed that effort.
>> US ambassador to United Nations, Nikki Haley justified the attack by saying it fell within the United States vital national security interests.