Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Haley warns Assad: Trump 'watching,' United States work in Syria 'not done'

Haley warns Assad: Trump 'watching,' United States work in Syria 'not done'

U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday defended his use of the phrase "mission accomplished" over the U.S. -led missile strikes on Syrian targets after it was seized on by the media.

Assad praised the Soviet-era air defense system that Syria had reportedly used to shoot down around 70 of the 100 missiles fired during the strikes, Russian news agencies said.

He backed Prime Minister Theresa May's decision to take part in the attack and said Western powers will have to study "options" if Syria's government uses chemical weapons again.

A Syrian firefighter is seen inside the destroyed Scientific Research Centre in Damascus, Syria April 14, 2018.

Haley insisted in multiple interviews on Sunday that the US's actions against the Syrian regime and its supporters, which include Russian Federation, have been aggressive.

"You will see that Russian sanctions will be coming down", Haley said. Russian Federation has vetoed at least six resolutions in the U.N. Security Council regarding chemical weapons.

In a UN Security Council session Saturday, American UN Ambassador Nikki Haley warned that the USA was "locked and loaded" to take aim at Syria again if Assad uses chemical weapons again.

"Assad knew that Russian Federation had its back, Assad knew that Russian Federation would cover for them at the United Nations, and Assad got reckless, and he used it in a way that was far more aggressive", she said. He said the strikes were unlikely to curb the government's ability to produce or launch new attacks.

The strikes suggest that Trump may have reset America's red line for military intervention in Syria over the use of chemical weapons. "We were not looking to kill people", she said. He said the US knew of no civilians killed by allied missiles.

"We disagree with anyone bombing our country no matter what the reason is", he said in a phone interview.

McKenzie said 105 U.S. and allied missiles were fired, of which 66 were Tomahawk cruise missiles launched from aboard three U.S. Navy ships and one Navy submarine.

This comes days after the US, Britain, and France conducted "precision strikes" in Syria on Friday in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack by the Syrian government.

Inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) are now in Damascus and are expected to visit Douma this weekend.

Russian leader Vladimir Putin reaffirmed the Kremlin's skepticism about the allies' Douma claim, saying Russian military experts had found no trace of the attack. He criticized the US and its allies for launching the strike without waiting for worldwide inspectors to complete their visit to the area.

"It's illegal because he didn't come and ask permission", he said. "No other group" could have carried out that attack, May said, adding that the allies' use of force was "right and legal".

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