Friday, 20 July, 2018

Haley: Strikes 'crippled' Syria's chemical weapons program

US President Donald Trump's threat of military retaliation in Syria have raised risks of a direct confrontation with Russia US President Donald Trump's threat of military retaliation in Syria have raised risks of a direct confrontation with Russia
Melinda Barton | 15 April, 2018, 06:03

On Saturday, President Donald Trump lauded the USA and its allies, the United Kingdom and France, for the "perfectly executed" military strikes on Syria late Friday. Could not have had a better result.

Following air strikes on Syrian government targets last night, Vladimir Putin said in a statement earlier today that Russian Federation would convene an emergency meeting to discuss the action.

Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said the USA strikes on Syria "would not be left without consequences". Antonio Guterres, the United Nations secretary general, urged restraint to avoid escalation in the region.

The Syrian air defences not only missed the incoming missiles but they kept firing even after the last US, British and French strikes were complete.

Syrian state TV broadcast images of the destruction at the site, including piles of rubble and a burnt vehicle.

His generals pushed back, not wanting to escalate tensions with those two countries, the officials said.

All three leaders said the use of chemical agents gave them a moral obligation to act.

Western officials said a barrage of cruise and air-to-land missiles hit what they said were sites linked to chemical weapons development.

Characterizing the strike as a success, McKenzie says, "As of right now we're not aware of any civilian casualties". In a calculated show of defiance, the presidency posted a video showing Mr Assad apparently turning up for work following the attacks.

Syria as well as its main backer Russian Federation have denied being behind the attack, a claim that was dismissed by Le Drian, citing "overwhelming testimony" and extensive analysis by French intelligence services and laboratories.

"We are not scared of America's missiles". Only three votes at 15-nation Council were in favor, Falk reports.

The attacks on Saturday came in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack in the former rebel stronghold of Douma last weekend.

Experts and lawmakers warned before the strikes that although the chance is small, bombing Syria could increase the odds of a war between Russian Federation and the US.

Following up on President Donald Trump's threat, the United States - along with allies Britain and France - rained cruise missiles at three locations in Syria on Saturday, the biggest strike by the West in the seven years of the war in Syria.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Saturday that the United States is "locked and loaded" if Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime uses chemical gas again in the country.

But France's foreign minister said there was "no doubt" the Assad government was responsible, and he threatened further retaliatory strikes if chemical weapons were used again, as did Pentagon chief Jim Mattis, who said the assault was a "one-time shot", as long as chemical weapons weren't used again.

Vice President Mike Pence also said Trump carried out the strikes armed with USA intelligence that at "a minimum it was the chemical weapon of chlorine", noting investigators still might prove sarin was used.

Syria's state news agency SANA called the attack an "aggression" that was "a flagrant violation of global law, a breach of the worldwide community's will".

Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned the attacks in the "most serious way". Besides that being an unfortunate echo of former President George W. Bush's premature victory declaration during the Iraq war, it's unclear how much the US has accomplished.