Published: Sun, April 15, 2018
Medicine | By Douglas Stevenson

Trump Prepared to Strike Assad Again, Official Says


The U.S., France and Britain launched military strikes on Saturday morning in Syria to punish President Bashar Assad (bah-SHAR' AH'-sahd) for an apparent chemical attack against civilians last week and to deter him from doing it again.

The multi-national effort included the United States, France, and Britain which rained down 120 Tomahawk missiles on suspected hubs for chemical weapon production.

The United Nations Security Council met Saturday, and rejected a Russian resolution condemning the USA and its allies for the attacks.

The second target was a chemical weapons storage facility west of the city of Homs.

Merkel had said earlier this week that Germany wouldn't join allied military action against Syrian government forces.

He said Russian air defences did not fire, while Syrian air defences were completely ineffective against an attack from multiple directions involving not just US, British and French aircraft but also US naval destroyers, a cruiser, a French frigate and even a US submarine.

"The goal of our actions tonight is to establish a strong deterrent against the production, spread and use of chemical weapons", Trump said. He noted that establishing deterrence against use of such weapons represented "a vital national security interest of the US".

A coalition of ships and bombers hammered three Syrian chemical weapons sites with 105 weapons on Friday night in an escalated response created to smash the Assad regime's capacity to use chemical weapons like chlorine and sarin gas.

In the aftermath of Friday's attack, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said there were no reports of U.S. losses in what he described as a heavy but carefully limited assault. "These are not actions of a man, they are crimes of a monster instead".

Marcon said that France's "red line has been crossed" after last week's chemical attack in Syria.

France's government says it has no samples of the chemical weapons it believes were used in Syria, but launched a military response based on open-source information and intelligence gathering. France and the United Kingdom participated in the strikes also.

"I spoke to President Trump this morning and he said if the Syrian regime uses this poisonous gas again, the United States is locked and loaded", Haley said at an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting called by Russian Federation.

The PM did not rule out further action if Syria continues to use chemical weapons.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who delayed a trip to Saudi Arabia to deal with the Syria crisis, said he had asked special envoy Staffan de Mistura to return to NY as soon as possible to chart a way forward. "I urge the Security Council to assume its responsibilities and fill this gap".

The Syrian state has denied that its forces launched a chemical attack and accused rebels of fabricating reports of the attack in order to drum up worldwide support for its fight against the regime. This is not about intervening in a civil war.

"Israel's support remains unchanged", he added. Iran and Russian Federation are supportive of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad despite wide-ranging reports of his harsh rule drawing criticism. "We invite Russian Federation to start supporting the innocent men, women and children of Syria who are being killed with chemical weapons", the U.S. ambassador said.

Meanwhile, leading officials from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons have requested access to the site of the alleged chemical weapons attack on a rebel-held neighborhood in Syria on Saturday.

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