Published: Sun, April 15, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

US, UK and France Launch Strikes Against Syria

US, UK and France Launch Strikes Against Syria

The decision by President Donald Trump to punish the Assad regime for a suspected chemical weapons attack was met by mixed reactions, mainly along party lines. The earlier strike, involving 59 cruise missiles, was in response to a chemical attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province.

U.S. Secretary of Defense General John Mattis, confirmed this before the coalition attacks, saying that there was "no evidence" connecting the chemical attacks to the Syrian government.

It targeted chemical weapons stores, including storage facilities for sarin gas, and was "double" the strikes the U.S. carried out in Syria in April 2017 in response to an earlier chemical attack by Assad, U.S. officials said Friday.

Pentagon officials emphasized the Syrian missile strikes were meant to send a very clear message to President Bashar Al-Assad.

McKenzie said the allies "took out the heart" of Assad's chemical weapons arsenal. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the strikes were about making sure that chemical weapons can not be used with impunity.

The US President claimed that the joint action aimed to establish a "strong deterrent" against the production, spread, and use of chemical weapons. I support the President's carefully considered decision to join together with our allies in the United Kingdom and France and send a message that we will not stand idly by while innocent women and children are gassed to death by a cowardly dictator.

"To Iran and to Russian Federation I ask, What kind of nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women and children?" Some civilian injuries were sustained but no loss of life has been reported so far from the air strikes.

Johnson tweeted today that he welcomed the news of the military strike against major chemical weapons facilities in Syria in concert with "our United States and French allies".

She blamed the Security Council and Russia's actions for failing in its duty to hold those who use chemical weapons to account.

"When our President draws a red line, our President enforces the red line", she said.

Reaction from the global community to the strikes has ranged widely on Saturday.

"He is used to using chemical weapons", Le Drian said, adding: "For them it's become banal, but one had to put and end on it", he added.

- Russian President Putin says strike on Syria by USA and its allies will exacerbate humanitarian catastrophe in Syria.

While the Russians continue to support these heinous war crimes, the Syrian regime continues to violate its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and the UN's Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

"We are prepared to sustain this pressure if the Syrian regime is foolish enough to test our will", Haley said. Hearing explosions and watching Syrian military surface-to-air missiles streak through the skies, many in Syria suspected a large-scale US-led intervention was underway.

The U.S. -led operation won broad Western support.

Russia's ambassador to the USA warned that there would be consequences for the US-led military strikes, adding that it was not acceptable to insult Russia's president.

"The Syrian regime and its supporters are responsible for the gravest violations of worldwide humanitarian law in modern history", Braithwaite said. "The capital of a sovereign government, trying for years to survive under terrorist aggression, has been attacked". "We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences".

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