'Mission Accomplished' in Syria, Trump Declares on Twitter

Sergio Conner
April 15, 2018

By late Saturday in Washington, more than 12 hours after the attack, neither Syria nor its Russian or Iranian allies had retaliated, Pentagon officials said.

Pentagon officials said the attacks targeted the heart of Assad's programs to develop and produce chemical weapons, and delivered "a very serious blow", McKenzie said.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said this year's strike was more damaging than a similar attack the USA military conducted last year and will have a lasting impact on the regime's ability to produce chemical weapons.

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Director of the Joint Staff Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie confirmed that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad still maintains "residual" capacity. He said the attack "to these atrocities is legitimate and proportionate".

Syrians crowded onto the streets in noisy demonstrations of defiance afterward and their ally Russian Federation denounced the attack. The third target was a chemical weapons equipment storage facility and an important command post, also west of Homs, Dunford said.

"Russia can complain all it wants about fake news, but no one is buying its lies and its coverups", Haley said.

Disputing the Russian military's contention that Syrian air defense units downed 71 allied missiles, Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, director of the Joint Staff at the Pentagon, said no USA or allies missiles were stopped. The intercepted missiles included all 12 of those bound for the Al-Dumayr military airfield near Damascus, where the chemical attack that triggered the crisis was allegedly launched.

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

Alleged chemical attack brutal end to rebellious Syria town
The Syrian military said three civilians were wounded in one of the strikes in Homs. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said no additional strikes were planned.

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United States strikes on Syria 'justified', says Israeli official
In Iran , senior Iranian official Ali-Akbar Velayati warned that the "Zionist crimes in Syria will not remain unanswered". Syrian television reported that Syria's air defenses, which are substantial, responded to the attack.

And the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said the targeted sites had been evacuated before the missiles struck before dawn on Saturday.

The attack also involved British and French warplanes and U.S. B-1 bombers, all of which launched missiles outside of Syrian airspace.

Drawing a link with the recent nerve agent attack in Salisbury, Mrs May added: "We can not allow the use of chemical weapons to become normalised - either within Syria, on the streets of the United Kingdom or elsewhere". She described being jolted awake by explosions and the sound of jets roaring overhead. These are not the actions of a man. "Here we are celebrating to show that you are bankrupt", said a jubilant woman interviewed on state television. He said the strikes were a direct response to the April 7 attack on Douma, outside Damascus, that rescuers and monitors say killed more than 40 people. The decision to strike, after days of deliberations, marked Trump's second order to attack Syria.

But a US official familiar with the military planning said there could be more air strikes if the intelligence indicates Assad has not stopped making, importing, storing or using chemical weapons including chlorine.

Rudskoi says the Syrian military used Soviet-made air defense missile systems with high efficiency, shooting down all of the missiles aimed at four key Syrian air bases.

Assad used the chemical weapons in besieged areas in order to get rebel groups to surrender, said Andrew Tabler, an analyst at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

"We thought it would be much bigger than this", said Ahmed Primo, a journalist and activist now living in the Turkish city of Gaziantep.

European Union foreign-policy chief Federica Mogherini said the bloc "supports all efforts aimed at the prevention of the use of chemical weapons".

The Syrian conflict pits a complex myriad of parties against each other, with Russian Federation and Iran giving Assad military and political help that has largely proven decisive over the past three years in crushing any rebel threat to topple him.

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