Weapons the US, UK and France used to target Syria

Sergio Conner
April 14, 2018

Syrian state media slammed Western strikes on Saturday as illegal and "doomed to fail", after the US, France, and Britain launched a joint operation against the Damascus government.

Douma was the last rebel-held town in the Eastern Ghouta suburb of Damascus, and is the site of the alleged gas attack that prompted a volley of Western air strikes on Saturday.

President Donald Trump announced the operation in a Friday night address from the White House and said that the military campaign hit targets associated with the chemical weapon capabilities of the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

On Saturday, Putin reaffirmed Russia's view that a purported chemical attack in the Syrian town of Douma that prompted the strike was a fake.

Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer is calling the airstrikes appropriate, but said "the administration has to be careful about not getting us into a greater and more involved war in Syria".

Russia's Canadian embassy tweeted, "Washington & its UK/French allies should and will be held #responsible for this brazen act of #aggression and disregard of worldwide law".

Washington, Paris and London have nevertheless insisted that their own secret intelligence points to Assad's guilt, and on Friday, a USA spokeswoman said they had "proof". He called on Moscow to change course and join the West in seeking a more responsible regime in Damascus. Some clapped their hands and danced, others drove in convoys, honking their horns in defiance.

"The aggression is a flagrant violation of worldwide law, a breach of the global community's will, and it is doomed to fail", said state news agency SANA. He criticized the USA and its allies for launching the strike without waiting for worldwide inspectors to visit the area.

He said: "We can not tolerate the trivialisation of the use of chemical weapons, which represent an immediate danger for the Syrian people and for our collective security".

"Iran is opposed to the use of chemical weapons on the basis of religious, legal and ethical standards, while at the same time it. strongly condemns (using this) as an excuse to commit aggression against a sovereign state", it added.

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"This is the first time as Prime Minister that I have had to take the decision to commit our armed forces in combat - and it is not a decision I have taken lightly".

Britain says one of the targets was a former missile base, just west of Homs, where the Syrian regime was believed to have kept "chemical weapon precursors stockpiled in breach of [its] obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention". "No nation can succeed in the long run by promoting rogue states, brutal tyrants, and murderous dictators", Trump said.

"The red line set by France in May 2017 has been crossed", he added.

"By continuing to employ chemical weapons against innocent Syrian civilians, the Assad regime has violated global law and abandoned its own commitments to the worldwide community", she told reporters.

Defense officials said Tomahawk cruise missiles were launched from three US warships, while B-1 bombers dropped long-range missiles on targets.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg issued a statement saying he supported the airstrikes.

On the other hand, Syrian Foreign Ministry denounced the attack, stressing it will not affect determination of the Syrian people and army to defend their country.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation representatives planned a special session to hear from U.S., British and French officials.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday had warned the rival camps against "full-blown military escalation" and stressed the need to "avoid the situation spiralling out of control".

The chief US partner in the country, the Syrian Kurdish militia known as the YPG, remains uncertain about American intentions.

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