Wednesday, 23 January, 2019

USA launches 'precision srikes' on Syria as UK, France join in

Stacy Diaz | 14 April, 2018, 23:34

Mr Trump used an address on Friday night to say the three allies had launched military strikes to punish Syrian president Bashar Assad for the alleged chemical weapons use and to prevent him from doing it again.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said that four RAF Tornado jets were deployed to launch missiles at a Syrian military facility.

"I ordered the United States armed forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapon capabilities of Syrian dictator of Bashar al-Assad", Trump said from the White House Diplomatic Reception Room.

"Last year (US) President Donald Trump said that the use of chemical weapons would violate a red line".

Mr. Assad said the airstrikes would "only increase the determination of Syria and its people to continue fighting and crushing terrorism in every inch of the country", according to Syrian state TV.

President Donald Trump on Saturday applauded Friday night's joint military strikes on Syria, tweeting that they "could not have had a better result". The Russian military said the missiles were fired from U.S. ships in the Red Sea as well as from tactical aircraft above the Mediterranean and by USA strategic bombers from near the Al-Tanf base.

The second target was a chemical weapons storage facility west of the city of Homs.

Syrian news outlet Al-Masdar News reported cruise missiles struck rural Damascus and caused explosions at Dumayr Airbase. The Syrian government and Russian Federation called this information untrue, while the U.S. and allies have blamed Bashar al-Assad for the attack.

Pence says he's hopeful that Russian Federation and Iran will "once and for all abandon chemical weapons" against innocent civilians.

"If Russia had lived up to its commitment, there would be no chemical weapons in Syria and we would not be here today", Haley said.

U.S. Senator Elzabeth Warren question Trump's legitimacy to carry out further military action without Congressional approval writing, "The Constitution gives Congress the power to authorize military action".

"Insulting the President of Russia is unacceptable and inadmissible", added the envoy, after Trump directly called out his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin over his support for the Assad regime. "It is not about regime change", she said.

"America does not seek an indefinite presence in Syria", he said, thanking the United Kingdom and France for joining the USA in its fight against the Syrian regime.

One major concern the United States had was that the Syria strikes would prompt a direct confrontation between Washington and Moscow, whose relations have been spiraling downward.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has been "working in close collaboration" with United Nations security experts "to assess the situation and ensure the safety of the team", it said.

- In response, the Russian embassy in the U.S. said it had warned that such actions would "not be left without consequences", adding that insulting President Vladimir Putin was "unacceptable and inadmissible".