British ministers back action to deter Syrian chemical weapon use

14 April, 2018, 14:43 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • President Donald Trump announced on Friday he ordered strikes on the Syrian regime in response for a chemical weapon attack last weekend

In a combined operation, the US, Britain and France today launched military strikes against Bashar al-Assad's Syrian regime, President Donald Trump announced, as he alleged the war-torn nation of using chemical weapons against its own people.

Trump said the action was taken in response to what the United States said they were confident was a Syrian chemical attack last Saturday that he said occurred in the town of Douma, near the Syrian capital of Damascus.

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

Citing US estimates that Assad has used chemical weapons "at least 50 times" in the seven-year war, Haley said: "All nations and all people will be harmed if we allow Assad to normalize the use of chemical weapons".

Witnesses saw blasts surrounding much of the Syrian capital and a huge fire could be seen from a distance to the east. Syrian television reported that a scientific research center had been hit.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May said that "the speed with which we are acting is essential in co-operating with our partners to alleviate further humanitarian suffering and to maintain the vital security of our operations". The military action is a response to an apparent chemical weapons attack that killed dozens of people earlier this month.

"As other nations step up their contributions, we look forward to the day when we can bring our warriors home", Trump said. "No nation can succeed in the long run by promoting rogue states, brutal tyrants, and murderous dictators", Trump said. President Trump warns Assad: "Big price to pay" for fatal Syria attackThe strike came as Trump has alluded to military action in Syria all week, even tweeting on Wednesday that Russian Federation should be "ready" because "nice and new and "smart" missiles "will be coming".

Defense Secretary James Mattis speaks during a Pentagon briefing after President Trump announced U.S. strikes on Syria
Defense Secretary James Mattis speaks during a Pentagon briefing after President Trump announced U.S. strikes on Syria

Defense Secretary James Mattis emphasized that care was taken to ensure the strike would only target the al-Assad regime, and the coalition forces went to "great lengths to prevent civilian and foreign casualties".

Giving a statement at the White House, Mr Trump said: "This evil and despicable act left mothers and fathers, infants and children thrashing in pain and gasping for air".

Three waves of overnight strikes destroyed important infrastructure at sites connected with the Syrian regime's chemical weapons programme.

French President Emmanuel Macron said there was no doubt the Syrian regime was responsible for the chemical attack in Douma. The Syrian Air Force used that site to launch airstrikes on East Ghouta, the report said. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said there were no reports of USA losses in what he described as a heavy but carefully limited assault.

A US -led attack on Syria will be seen as limited if it is now over and there is no second round of strikes, said a senior official in the regional alliance that has supported President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian war.

He added ominously, "Hopefully someday we'll get along with Russian Federation, and maybe even Iran, but maybe not". "We can not allow the use of chemical weapons to become normalised - within Syria, on the streets of the United Kingdom, or anywhere else in our world".

The strikes come as Mr Trump faces a domestic crisis at home as investigations continue into whether his campaign colluded with Russian meddling in the USA election on his behalf or has sought to obstruct justice since. In April 2017, Mr. Trump ordered a strike of almost 60 Tomahawk missiles that destroyed a Syrian air base days after Assad used sarin gas in an attack that killed dozens of civilians, many of them children.


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