Syria air strikes: what do we know so far?

May ready to bypass Parliament & approve UK military intervention in Syria – BBC

The United States and its allies fired more than 100 missiles at Syria on Friday in a "one-time shot" the Pentagon said followed evidence that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was responsible for a chemical weapons attack using at least chlorine gas.

She said Russian Federation had thwarted diplomatic efforts to halt Assad's use of poison gas, leaving no option but force.

In his announcement, President Trump stated that the United States missile attack was created to "establish a strong deterrent against the production, spread, and use of chemical weapons", warning President Assad that "We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents". These are not the actions of a man.

Trump's "mission accomplished" remarks bore a striking resemblance to former US President George W Bush's infamous speech on board the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier in 2003 when he declared the end of combat operations in Iraq in front of a banner stating "Mission Accomplished". He also said 105 missiles were launched by air and sea.

The Pentagon could not confirm how many missiles hit their targets but said no other attacks were planned.

On April 9, officers from the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Warring Parties in Syria visited Douma but found no trace of chemical weapons there.

President Donald Trump hailed the airstrikes on Saturday, and thanked USA allies France and Britain for joining in the campaign.

"We're not cooperating with them in Syria".

"To Iran and to Russian Federation I ask, What kind of nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women and children?"

She also said the strikes were not about "regime change".

The Syrian government has denied it used any chemical weapons in an attack, while Russia's Foreign Ministry claims there is no evidence of a chemical attack in Douma.

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Meanwhile, talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May were complicated by her expected struggle to gain parliamentary approval for strikes, though, ultimately, she declined to go to MPs for permission after Trump pressed for a global coalition.

Then came the suspected chemical attack in Douma, followed by worldwide condemnation and threats of military action.

- The US said "important infrastructure" had been destroyed, resulting in the loss of years of research and development for the Syrian regime.

Gen. Joseph Dunford, Joint Chief of Staff, said the strikes were carried out on three Syrian chemical weapons infrastructures and the US believed it would send al-Assad a strong message. Whatever its scale, the move plunged the USA further into the multi-sided Syrian civil war, even as Trump presses his aides to orchestrate a swift withdrawal of American troops from the country.

The minister further stated that, "On the question of chemical weapons, there is a red line that must not be crossed, and if it should be crossed again, there will be another intervention".

The ministry reported that a total of 100 cruise and air-to-surface missiles had been fired (while 59 missiles were fired at Shayrat Airbase last year), majority were shot down by Syria's air defense units while approaching the targets.

"The immediate priority is to avert the danger of war", he told reporters.

Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White warned that Russian Federation was actively attempting to sow confusion about the attack.

White said the USA does not seek conflict with Syria but "cannot allow such grievous violations of worldwide law" and attacks on innocent Syrians.

Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote on Facebook: "First the "Arab spring" tested the Syrian people, then Islamic State, now smart American rockets".

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