United States says it hit the 'heart' of Syrian chemical-weapons operation

Sergio Conner
April 16, 2018

US President Donald Trump and his British and French allies on Saturday hailed their joint strikes in Syria in response to its alleged use of chemical weapons, warning Damascus that any repetition would be met with renewed firepower.

Haley said the U.S.is "locked and loaded" for another missile strike if there is another chemical attack in Syria.

"Assad knew that Russian Federation had its back, Assad knew that Russian Federation would cover for them at the United Nations, and Assad got reckless, and he used it in a way that was far more aggressive", she said.

Looking ahead, Delattre said France, Britain and the United States will soon be presenting the Security Council with a new draft resolution aimed at achieving a lasting solution to the Syrian conflict that addresses political, chemical and humanitarian issues.

He also thanked France and Britain for their joining in the strike with the United States with "Fine Military", saying the strikes "could not have had a better result".

UK Prime Minister Theresa May said the strikes were not about "regime change", but "about a limited and targeted strike that does not further escalate tensions in the region and that does everything possible to prevent civilian casualties".

"The president used the term "mission accomplished" in the military sense".

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that the strikes would have "a destructive effect on the entire system of global relations".

"We don't need more military action, we need all global parties to push for a political solution", said Boulad.

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Syrian state media accused Western powers of trying to hinder the investigation with their attack.

But the military seemed less than troubled as it claimed that Syrian aerial defenses managed to shoot down most of the missiles and divert others.

Compared to strikes that President Donald Trump launched against a Syrian air base after a previous chemical weapons attack on civilians almost one year ago, last night's action was "more robust in terms of military action" because it was an allied, as opposed to unilateral, strike that targeted alleged chemical weapons infrastructure and is meant to be part of a sustained effort, an administration official said.

While the chemical weapons attack has put Syria fully on Trump's radar, experts say it's unlikely to persuade him to stay the course in Syria beyond defeating Islamic State.

Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg tweeted a message of support and said those who use chemical weapons "must be held accountable".

"If this step does not succeed, we will be prepared to act again", an official said on the call, echoing what other top administration officials emphasized on Saturday.

The Government said the United Kingdom is allowed under worldwide law "on an exceptional basis" to take measures to end "overwhelming humanitarian suffering" if certain conditions have been met.

The military said there were three targets: the Barzah chemical weapons research and development site in the Damascus area, a chemical weapons storage facility near Homs and a chemical weapons bunker a few miles from the second target. Haley noted that Russian Federation has vetoed six resolutions in the U.N. Security Council regarding chemical weapons.

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