Friday, 17 August, 2018

US, UK and France launch military strikes on Syria

Alonzo Parks | 15 April, 2018, 00:59

She and other residents described hearing a volley of fire in the morning, and seeing plumes of thick smoke emerging from the city's north and east.

Syria and Russian Federation have both denied using chemical weapons and said the claims were fabrications used to justify Western military action. As Mattis and other top officials cast their eyes downward and assumed clenched-jawed expressions, Trump tore into his attorney general, deputy attorney general and former Federal Bureau of Investigation director in a strident, partisan attack.

But the chemical weapons capabilities, while effective in terrorizing civilians, were not vital to the regime's recent military successes. And his counterpart, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, insisted that United States officials were in touch with their Russian counterparts over the so-called "deconfliction channel" between the United States al-Udeid airbase in Qatar and Russia's Hmeymim military base in Syria.

"So we have no choice but to conclude that diplomatic action on its own will not be any more effective in the future than it has been in the past", she said, arguing that it was "both legal and right" to carry out the strikes in Syria.

"To Iran and to Russian Federation, I ask, what kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women and children?"

But the Pentagon said that worry had eased after the United States learned that the Syria strikes had not resulted in any Russian casualties.

She said: "This persistent pattern of behaviour must be stopped - not just to protect innocent people in Syria from the horrific deaths and casualties caused by chemical weapons but also because we can not allow the erosion of the worldwide norm that prevents the use of these weapons".

She referred specifically to last month's nerve agent attack on former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the southern English cathedral city of Salisbury that she has blamed on Russian Federation.

The PM said she believed the action to be in Britain's national interest, adding: "This is the first time as Prime Minister that I have had to take the decision to commit our armed forces in combat - and it is not a decision I have taken lightly".

Then came the suspected chemical attack in Douma, followed by worldwide condemnation and threats of military action.

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"A large part of its chemical arsenal has been destroyed".

Overnight, U.S., British and French forces launched more than 100 missiles from ships and manned aircraft, targeting three of Syria's main chemical weapons facilities.

American military spokesmen have also been insistent that "No Syrian weapon had any effect on anything we did".

The operation was "precise, overwhelming and effective", he said, adding it will set their chemical weapons program back "for years". At least one of the buildings was leveled, officials said.

He notes that Russian Federation in the past refrained from providing Syria with its state-of-the-art S-300 air defense missile systems on Western prodding but could reconsider it now.

"The immediate priority is to avert the danger of war", he told reporters.

Russia's ambassador to the United States responded by saying the attack on its ally "will not be left without consequences".

Assad made the remarks during a phone call with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who called Assad after the U.S-led attack on Syria, the state news agency SANA reported.

Iran's Foreign Ministry has also strongly condemned the airstrikes and warned of its regional consequences.

The wave of strikes is the most significant attack against President Bashar al-Assad's government by western powers in seven years of Syria's civil war.

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