Thursday, 24 May, 2018

Trump orders strikes against Syria over chemical weapons attack

Smoke billows in the town of Douma in Syria's Eastern Ghouta Smoke billows in the town of Douma in Syria's Eastern Ghouta
Melinda Barton | 15 April, 2018, 17:25

McKenzie said 76 missiles were used in that strike.

The US military said the strikes "destroyed" Him Shinshar's chemical weapons storage facility, and damaged the chemical weapons bunker.

Syria, along with its allies Russian Federation and Iran, has denied the use of chemical weapons and Russian Federation has suggested the entire attack was a fabrication by western forces.

Haley expressed confidence that the recent military strikes against Syria had crippled what she called "Syria's chemical weapons program".

British jets struck "a former missile base... where the regime is assessed to keep chemical weapon precursors", the country's defence ministry said.

He also said 105 missiles were launched by air and sea.

The airstrikes against Syrian military targets followed a chemical weapons attack on the city of Douma on April 7, which left dozens killed.

Vladimir Putin called the missile strikes an "act of aggression against a sovereign state" and claimed they were against the United Nation charter.

He wrote: "Thank you to France and the United Kingdom for their wisdom and the power of their fine military".

The strikes would result in a "long term degradation of Syria's ability" to create, use and deploy chemical weapons, U.S. Gen. Joseph Dunford said in a press conference Friday night, adding that the operation was meant to inflict "maximum damage" with minimal risk to civilians. The U.S. and other Western powers have blamed the suspected gas attack on Syrian President Bashar Assad, who is backed by Russian Federation and Iran. The earlier strike, involving 59 cruise missiles, was in response to a chemical attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province. "We're going to get back to our country, where we belong, where we want to be".

US President Donald Trump addresses the nation on the situation in Syria April 13, 2018 at the White House in Washington, DC.

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".

Officials noted that they are still collecting information and more details will be provided as assessments are completed.

Syria's internal security forces entered Douma on Saturday, state media reported, saying the final rebel holdout on the edge of Damascus would be secured within "hours".

Angela Merkel said the US, Britain and France "took responsibility in this way as permanent members of the UN Security Council".