Published: Sun, April 15, 2018
Arts&Culture | By Antoinette Montgomery

Russian trolls launch a disinformation campaign after the Syria airstrikes: Pentagon

Russian trolls launch a disinformation campaign after the Syria airstrikes: Pentagon

Fox News reported that us military strikes would "go forward in Syria" and said the decision was made by Trump on the evening of April 13.

The United States warned Saturday that it was "locked and loaded", ready to launch more military strikes on Syria if President Bashar Assad's forces carry out a new chemical weapons attack.

Mattis is asking that "responsible nations" join in condemning the Assad regime.

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis on Friday night said the assault was a "one-time shot", so long as Assad does not repeat his use of chemical weapons. Human rights groups have reported a number of other chemical attacks, but until Saturday Trump hadn't responded with military force again.

At the Pentagon, the director of the Joint Staff, Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, said the more than 100 missile strikes delivered a blow to the "heart" of Syria's chemical weapons network.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis on Friday announced the press briefing would be held Saturday for the specific reason of dispelling false information about the strike coming from Russian Federation, which is a key ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime. Russia's military said Syrian air defence units downed 71 of the missiles. A huge fire could be seen from a distance to the east. There were no immediate reports of casualties, with Damascus' allies saying the buildings hit had been evacuated in advance.

"It proves high efficiency of the Syrian armament and professional skills of the Syrian servicemen trained by the Russian specialists", Rudskoy said at a Ministry of Defense media briefing. After the attack ceased and the early morning skies went dark once more, vehicles with loudspeakers roamed the streets of Damascus blaring nationalist songs. But any action was blocked by the vote powers of Russian Federation, on one side, and the United States, France and Britain on the other.

It also followed the purported use of chemical weapons there on April 7, which activists say killed over 40 people in the town and led to Saturday's airstrikes by the West. Syrian internal security forces entered Douma on Saturday and said the town would be secured within hours. He added that the strikes had not completely toppled Syria's chemical weapons system, but that it had been "dealt a severe blow". He acknowledged, however, that Syria retained "residual" capacity, but gave no details on the scope of what could be left.

"Good souls will not be humiliated", Syria's presidential account tweeted after the airstrikes began. In any event, the United States, under my Administration, has done a great job of ridding the region of ISIS. But it likely won't change Assad's heart, and the homicidal leader will likely continue using barrel bombs, torture chambers and other brutal methods that a feckless Western response and immoral backing from Russian Federation and Iran have made possible.

Trump earlier this month had reluctantly agreed to keep USA troops in Syria for an undetermined period of time to defeat ISIS.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation chief Jens Stoltenberg said Saturday that Russia's obstruction at the UN Security Council left NATO's U.S, British and French allies no option but to launch a missile attack on key Syrian installations.

"To Iran and to Russian Federation I ask: What kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women and children?" he said.

"The OPCW used to stay in the two upper rooms, and use the labs, and we would cooperate with them completely", he said. "We can not protect countries all over the world where they're not paying us what we need".

"It's intolerable for a civilized nation to use chemical weapons", Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said Saturday.

In the wake of Friday's strikes, Congress should engage in a vigorous examination of Trump's overall Syrian policy. He said the three nations have "marshaled their righteous power".

And she warned that Syria and its allies, which include Iran, should not be "foolish enough to test our will".

On Friday, the United States, Britain, and France made the case at a council meeting for military action, arguing that Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces had used toxic gases multiple times in violation of global law.

Trump has signaled in recent weeks that, despite advice from his national security team, he wanted to accelerate the timetable of the withdrawal of American forces. The mission, according to Pentagon officials, has "significantly crippled" Syrian President Bashar Assad's ability to manufacture chemical weapons. He says a "combined operation" with France and the United Kingdom is underway.

"The time for talk ended last night", Haley said.

Pentagon officials had anxious that the predawn attack could escalate into a wider conflict, deepening US involvement in Syria only weeks after President Donald Trump said the USA would withdraw from the country.

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