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

OPCW continuing mission despite air strikes


Trump said he has ordered "precision strikes" against Syria, where dozens of people were killed last weekend in a suspected toxic gas attack on Douma, the largest town in a former rebel stronghold outside Damascus.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said that four RAF Tornado jets were deployed to launch missiles at a Syrian military facility.

"The overwhelming why this was the right thing to do, and that is to deter the use of chemical weapons - not just by the Assad regime - but around the world", Mr Johnson said.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) released a statement Saturday saying the organization is in Syria to conduct an investigation into the allegation that the April 7 attack in Duma was a chemical one and will remain there until the task is complete. It is not about regime change.

The joint attack by the United States, Britain, and France, which began at 3:55 a.m. local time (0055 GMT), launched some 110 missiles targeting Syrian military sites in the Syrian capital Damascus and elsewhere, Syria's state news agency SANA said, citing the military.

"It was right to take the action that we have done in the timing that we have done", she said.

"This collective action sends a clear message that the global 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".

"I have done so because I judge this action to be in Britain's national interest".

"America does not seek an indefinite presence in Syria", he said, thanking the United Kingdom and France for joining the U.S. in its fight against the Syrian regime.

Britain has blamed Russian Federation for the poisoning - a charge vehemently denied by Moscow which has accused London of failing to come up with evidence for its claims.

Many politicians in Britain, including some in May's own Conservative Party, had called for parliament to be recalled from a break to give authority to any military strike.

Meanwhile Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said Parliament should have been given a vote ahead of the strikes.

The DUP has backed Prime Minister Theresa May's decision to authorise air strikes in Syria.

Opinion polls suggest most Britons do not support military action.

In a statement Friday night, U.S. President Donald Trump outlined strikes being carried out against the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad after a chemical weapon attack earlier in the week.

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