Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

What to Know About the US-Led Missile Strikes on Syria

What to Know About the US-Led Missile Strikes on Syria

A different Trump administration official, briefing reporters, said the United States assessed that sarin was also used in the April 7 attack but suggested that USA information on sarin came from analysis of reports from news media and other public sources of information, as opposed to US intelligence.

The US, UK and France launched the airstrikes, decimating the Assad regime's chemical weapons production and storage facilities, in response to the Syrian government's attack on Douma on April 7.

But by Monday, the team had still not been granted safe passage, according to the United Kingdom envoy to the OPCW, Peter Wilson. In the face of substantial evidence to the contrary, Russia's pushback on behalf of Syria and Assad is significant.

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

May headed off criticism that she had not waited for a UN resolution - mentioning Russia's inevitable veto - and that she was acting to restore the global norms against chemical attacks, not "following orders" from the United States.

Rescue workers said "28 barbaric air strikes" hit civilian homes.

The suspected chemical attack is the latest issue to heighten tensions between Russian Federation and Western powers.

Prior to the bombing, some senior Russian officials signaled Moscow was ready to repel inbound USA missiles and target their carriers. Russian Federation denies the accusations.

Syria state TV, however, claimed that three civilians were wounded in Homs after "several" missiles were intercepted by Syrian air-defense systems.

"The team has not yet deployed to Douma", OPCW Director General Ahmet Uzumcu said in a statement.

"A significant body of information, including intelligence, indicates the Syrian regime is responsible for this latest attack". He said Russian Federation "should join our efforts to promote a political process in Syria that would allow a way out of the crisis".

"We're here to celebrate the victory of the Syrian army in Eastern Ghouta and to send a message to Trump and his allies that they failed", Assad supporter Naila Badr said, her hair wrapped in a white headscarf. "This raises serious questions about the ability of the (team) to do its job", he said in a statement Monday.

He told reporters in Moscow that what is hampering a speedy resolution of the visit to Douma was "the consequences of the illegal, unlawful military action", a reference to the punitive airstrikes.

"I can guarantee that Russian Federation has not tempered with the site", Lavrov told BBC in an interview.

Mr Trump already made clear his commitment to further hit Syria, should Mr Assad attempt to use chemical weapons again.

British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron faced anger Monday from their lawmakers for conducting the air strikes with the United States.

The strikes carried out by the United States, Britain and France were aimed at "degrading the Syrian regime's capability and deterring the use of chemical weapons", she said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the military strikes violated the U.N. Charter and that if they continue, "it will inevitably entail chaos in worldwide relations", according to a Kremlin statement on Sunday.

The security council has been deadlocked since last November over establishing an investigatory mechanism to identify responsibility for a chemical attacks, as opposed to determining whether an attack has occurred.

Nikki Haley, the USA ambassador to the United Nations, said that new sanctions against Russian Federation would be announced by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday.

"You heard, 'Oh they shot 40 down". They need to do more.

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