What we know so far about the strikes on Syria

15 April, 2018, 00:29 | Author: Miranda Cannon
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Syria's capital has been rocked by loud explosions that lit up the sky with heavy smoke as U.S. President Donald Trump announced airstrikes in retaliation for the country's alleged use of chemical weapons.

The strikes against Bashar al-Assad's Syrian regime early Saturday came in response to an alleged chemical attack on the rebel holdout of Douma outside the capital a week ago.

France's aim was to deter Syria's government from using chemical weapons, she said, adding that her government did not want to exacerbate the conflict.

The strikes would result in a "long term degradation of Syria's ability" to create, use and deploy chemical weapons, U.S. Gen. Joseph Dunford said in a press conference Friday night, adding that the operation was meant to inflict "maximum damage" with minimal risk to civilians. Kenneth McKenzie said on Saturday during a press briefing at the Pentagon about the strikes carried out on Friday.

"It is about a limited and targeted strike that does not further escalate tensions in the region and that does everything possible to prevent civilian casualties".

Canada became the latest to lay the blame for a deadly chemical-weapons attack in Syria last week at Syrian President Bashar Assad's doorstep, despite Russian suggestions to the contrary. "Russian Federation must decide if it will continue down this dark path or if it will join with civilized nations... hopefully some day we will get along with Russian Federation and maybe even Iran, but maybe not".

"There have been many instances when we have seen them using those chemical weapons".

"I'm not going to say that they're going to be unable to conduct a chemical attack in the future", McKenzie said.


Syrian television reported that Syria's air defenses, which are substantial, responded to the attack.

Trump chastised Syria's two main allies, Russia and Iran, for their roles in supporting "murderous dictators", and noted that Russian President Vladimir Putin had guaranteed a 2013 global agreement for Assad to get rid of all of his chemical weapons.

The Syrian government has denied it used any chemical weapons in an attack, while Russia's Foreign Ministry claims there is no evidence of a chemical attack in Douma.

The Syrian government has denied responsibility and Russian Federation has suggested Israel or Britain was to blame, the latter to justify increased western intervention into the war-ravaged country.

In his statement, President Trump also reprimanded Russian Federation and Iran for supporting Syria in using chemical weapons against its citizens.

"No amount of American blood or treasure can produce lasting peace and security in the Middle East", Trump said.

"President Putin and his government promised the world that they would guarantee the elimination of Syria's chemical weapons", he added. "No nation can succeed in the long run by promoting rogue states, brutal tyrants and murderous dictators".

Pence says he's hopeful that Russian Federation and Iran will "once and for all abandon chemical weapons" against innocent civilians. "Mission Accomplished!" he declared.

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