May 21, 2018

Strikes in Syria: What We Know

15 April 2018, 07:45 | Elsie Buchanan

Strikes in Syria: What We Know

Strikes in Syria: What We Know

The U.S., United Kingdom and France launched strikes on Syria a week after U.S. President Donald Trump said there would be a "big price" to pay for the apparent use of chemical weapons by President Bashar al-Assad's forces in the town of Douma, an attack that killed scores of civilians.

"We are not scared of America's missiles. We hit our sites", White said.

As vehicle horns blared, the crowd moved toward nearby Damascus University where pro-government fighters danced and waved their automatic rifles over their heads.

In the aftermath of the attack, the western powers set out their justification for military action that was carried out without a mandate from the United Nations and in the face of criticism from Assad's allies Russian Federation and Iran.

In the days between the attack in Douma and the US-led response, Washington and Moscow clashed repeatedly in duelling statements and debates. The area was later captured by troops loyal to Assad.

President Donald Trump on Saturday declared "Mission Accomplished" after ordering a military strike on suspected chemical weapons targets in Syria Friday night, provoking strong protests by Syrian leaders, Iran and Russian Federation.

The combined strike is the most significant attack against President Assad's government by Western powers in the seven years of Syria's civil war.

Earlier this month, Trump hinted that day could come quickly. They are in eastern Syria, far from Damascus. The call to morning prayers at dawn mixed with the whoosh of missiles.

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Later, a video showing Assad walking into his office carrying a briefcase was posted on the same account.

"Good morning steadfastness", one broadcaster said. He also said Congress must play an oversight role in such military actions.

Russia, whose forces are bolstering Syria's government, had threatened military retaliation if any Russian personnel had been hit.

Pentagon officials had anxious that the predawn attack could escalate into a wider conflict, deepening US involvement in Syria only weeks after President Donald Trump said the USA would withdraw from the country. "The government is not elected by the people, they are not democratic process...not only this, they are killing their own people and the whole worldwide community knows about it", Banna said.

Haley said the United States was confident that the military strikes had crippled Syria's chemical weapons program.

Russia, which supports the Assad regime, called the operation an "act of aggression" that violated the "norms and principles of global law", and warned of "consequences" for the U.S.

Russian Federation has military forces, including air defenses, in several areas of Syria to support President Bashar Assad in his long war against anti-government rebels.

Russian Federation resoundingly criticized the airstrikes as a violation of global law and warned that the airstrikes "will not be left without consequences".

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The limited strikes were deplored by the Syrian opposition, which saw the West as lacking an global strategy for dealing with the civil war. He said the US knew of no civilians killed by allied missiles.

Iran, which has also backed Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad since the conflict began in 2011, also warned of "regional consequences".

Mohammad Alloush, spokesman for the Army of Islam rebel group that was expelled from Douma, tweeted that the airstrikes were a "farce".

Trump did not provide details on the joint U.S. -British-French attack, but it was expected to include barrages of cruise missiles launched from outside Syrian airspace. But with the latest strikes, USA forces may see an escalation in the conflict.

Lt Gen Kenneth McKenzie, the director of the joint chiefs of staff, described the mission as "precise, overwhelming and effective". The U.K. Defense Ministry said the strikes were "successful".

A statement said: "Non-government medical organisations active in the region - which are usually reliable - have stated publicly that the strikes specifically targeted medical infrastructure".

Syrian media reported that air defences hit 13 rockets south of Damascus.

The officials were asked on what grounds the Pentagon determined the Assad administration used chemical weapons.

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Although the president said the USA and its allies are prepared to sustain their campaign against Assad's chemical weapons facilities if necessary, he suggested that military action is finished, for now. "When our president draws a red line, our president enforces a red line".

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