Alleged chemical attack brutal end to rebellious Syria town

Sergio Conner
April 15, 2018

At the United Nations, Russia's diplomats vetoed a USA motion to re-establish an global investigation into chemical weapons use in Syria that could have established blame.

The strikes have raised global fears of possible conflict between Russian Federation, a key ally of Syria, and the US.

"The political solution is the sole way to solve the crisis in Syria and to preserve its stability and unity", Momani said.

"Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria".

Defense Secretary James Mattis, new national security adviser John Bolton, Vice President Mike Pence and USA ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley were all involved in the decision to strike Syria, Reuters reports.

Jordan, he said, stands with the Syrians' right to end their suffering and the crisis in their country, calling for honest efforts to reach a political solution to the crisis.

Russian Federation on Saturday confirmed that it was calling an mergency session of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in the wake of the airstrikes launched by the US-led coalition in Syria.

Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said no additional strikes were planned.

The U.S. military has about 2,000 troops in Syria, mostly in the northeast of the country where they are supporting a local alliance of militias battling the Islamic State. "While I support the goal of holding President Assad accountable and degrading his ability to use chemical weapons, I have a number of questions and concerns about tonight's action and the plan moving forward that I am going to want answers to in the days ahead".

Mattis confirmed the "very confident" chlorine was one chemical agent used in the Douma attack last week and is still investigating whether other agents were present, including the sarin gas. "These are not the actions of a man; they are crimes of a monster instead", Trump said.

About 120 missiles targeted three main sites: a research centre near Damascus; a storage facility near Homs, thought to be the "primary location" of Syrian sarin gas; and a nearby storage facility that also served as a command post.

The Syrian military said three civilians were wounded in one of the strikes in Homs.

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Russia's USA embassy released a statement warning that the airstrikes will "not be left without consequences". "Hopefully someday we'll get along with Russian Federation and maybe even Iran, but maybe not", Trump said.

"Russia probably got an assurance that these strikes would only target the CW capability of the regime", he said.

The US Air Force fired air-launched cruise missiles from B-1 bombers, and French and British planes also shot cruise missiles toward the targets.

Trump said Washington is prepared to "sustain" pressure on Assad until he ends what the president called a criminal pattern of killing his own people with internationally banned chemical weapons.

USA military officials used regular channels with Russian Federation to clear Syrian airspace, but did not say the aim of the strikes.

In his remarks, Trump said he holds Russian Federation directly responsible for the attack on Douma, saying Moscow failed to live up to its 2013 promise to guarantee Syria eliminated its arsenal of chemical weapons.

Syria and its ally, Russia, deny any such attack, which activists said killed more than 43 people last weekend.

"Further UK military intervention in Syria's appalling multi-sided war risks escalating an already devastating conflict", he said.

This language was aimed at heading off some of the arguments that members of parliament on all sides used when they voted against air strikes in Syria in 2013.

President Donald Trump on Saturday hailed a US-led missile assault on Syria's regime as "perfectly executed", despite the limited nature of the strikes and Russia's condemnation, which further heightened tensions between the Cold War foes.

"Russia in the most serious way condemns the attack on Syria where Russian military servicemen help the legitimate government to fight terrorism", Putin said. "It is not about regime change".

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