Friday, 20 April, 2018

Assad says strikes make Syria even more determined to 'fight terrorism'

Factbox - Bombs don't make peace, opposition politicians tell May Assad says strikes make Syria even more determined to 'fight terrorism'
Wallace Pearson | 15 April, 2018, 00:26

"If @realdonaldtrump wants to expand American military involvement in Syria's Civil War, he must seek approval from Congress - & provide a comprehensive strategy with clear goals & a plan to achieve them".

Freeland made the comments on the sidelines of a major worldwide summit in Lima, Peru, which U.S. President Donald Trump skipped last minute to deal with the recent chemical-weapons attack in Syria, which culminated in the launch of U.S., British and French strikes against Syrian targets on Friday night. These are not the actions of a man.

"These are not the actions of a man; they are crimes of a monster instead", Trump said in an address to the nation.

Syrian news outlet Al-Masdar News reported cruise missiles struck rural Damascus and caused explosions at Dumayr Airbase.

In a sign of mounting regional tensions, seven Iranians were killed in an air strike on a Syrian military base on Monday, which Iran said was carried out by Israel.

The Syrian Army said in a statement that about 110 missiles were fired by the USA and its allies on Syrian military sites, damaging the Research Scientific Center in the northeast of Damascus and the military bases in Homs.

"This collective action sends a clear message that the worldwide community will not stand by and tolerate the use of chemical weapons", May said at a press conference, calling the military action "right and legal".

Mattis said the joint strikes against Syria were a "one-time shot" unless Assad continues to use chemical weapons.

If the red line banning the use of chemical weapons was crossed again, there would be another intervention, he said, while adding: "I think the lesson will have been learnt".

After failing to talk the U.S. out of bombing targets in Syria, Russia responded to Friday's strikes by saying they "threatened" Russia and warning of "consequences".

In his statement, President Trump also reprimanded Russian Federation and Iran for supporting Syria in using chemical weapons against its citizens. She described it as a "limited and targeted strike" aimed at minimizing civilian casualties.

The French Ambassador to the UN Francois Delattre said that the Syrian regime is using awful and destructive weapons against civilians, and that the list of its violations is long.

A combined operation with the armed forces of France and the United Kingdom is now underway. The reaction followed airstrikes overnight by the United States, France and Britain.

Nato Secretary General Jen Stoltenberg said in a statement he backed the US, UK and France in their action "against the Syrian regime's chemical weapons facilities and capabilities".

Asked what chemicals were used in the weekend attack, Mattis confirmed that chlorine gas had been used and did not rule out the nerve agent sarin.

"None of our aircraft or missiles involved in this operation were successfully engaged by Syrian air defenses and we have no indication that Russian air defense systems were employed", McKenzie said. In April 2017, the USA struck an airbase in Syria using cruise missiles.

Mattis told reporters there were no reports of United States losses in the operation.

Congressman Vern Buchanan said that the strike against Syria by the US, British and French forces was a measured response to Assad's use of internationally banned chemical weapons.

Russia's ambassador to the United States warned that there would be consequences for the US-led military strikes, adding that it was not acceptable to insult Russia's president.

"The aggression is a flagrant violation of global law, a breach of the worldwide community's will, and it is doomed to fail", said state news agency SANA. "The capital of a sovereign government, trying for years to survive under terrorist aggression, has been attacked", Zakharova wrote in a Facebook post.

Iran's Foreign Ministry has also strongly condemned the airstrikes and warned of its regional consequences. Yet he made no mention of a possible Russian military response.

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