Syria air strikes: President Trump statement in full

Austria's Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

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

A UN Security Council vote brought by Syria's ally, Russia, and condemning the US-led strikes was rejected.

The strikes were the biggest intervention by Western powers against President Bashar al-Assad in the country's seven-year-old civil war, which has pitted the U.S. and its allies against Russian Federation.

What has been the reaction to the strikes?

"I spoke to the president this morning, and he said, 'If the Syrian regime uses this poisonous gas again, the United States is locked and loaded, ' " U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley said at an emergency Security Council meeting called by Russian Federation, the Syrian government's most powerful ally. After the vote the Russian envoy, Vassily Nebenzia said "Today is a very sad day for the world, the United Nations, its charter, which was blatantly, blatantly violated". This massacre was a significant escalation in a pattern of chemical weapons use by that very bad regime.

"Yesterday we saw American aggression".

USA envoy Nikki Haley said the strikes were "justified, legitimate and proportionate". "It will restore deterrence against further regime use of chemical weapons, at least temporarily".

"When our president draws a red line, our president enforces the red line", she added.

Ms Haley said the USA and its allies had given diplomacy "chance after chance" but Russian Federation had continued to veto United Nations resolutions.

Labour MP John Woodcock said: "It was right that the United Kingdom joined our allies in action to degrade Assad's chemical weapon capability in Syria" but added that "the prime minister must explain to parliament why she believed it was not appropriate to put this to [a] vote in advance".

Bashar Jaafari, Syria's envoy to the United Nations, said the US, UK and France were "liars, spoilers and hypocrites" who exploited the United Nations "to pursue your policy of interference and colonialism".

On the 15-member council only China and Bolivia voted in favour of Russia's resolution.


Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon condemned the attacks and accused May of "complying with presidential wishes", while Lib Dem leader Vince Cable warned: "Riding the coat-tails of an erratic U.S. president is no substitute for a mandate from the House of Commons".

"A perfectly executed strike last night", Trump tweeted early Saturday."Could not have had a better result". The phrase was the same one the last Republican president, George W. Bush, employed to his regret in 2003, when the Iraq War was far from over. The following Iraqi insurgency questioned the validity of the statement.

He spoke to Mrs May and French President Emmanuel Macron by telephone, agreeing the operation had been a success. "Public estimates are as high as 200", she said.

He said "none of the aircraft or missiles were successfully engaged" by defence systems and all aircraft had returned.

Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at the Pentagon after the overnight bombing said the targets were the Barzah Research and Development, the Him Shinshar Chemical Weapons Storage Site and the Him Shinshar Bunker Facility.

A USA official, speaking on the condition of anonymity under briefing rules, said it appeared that almost all the Syrian surface-to-air defenses were fired after the allied missiles hit their targets.

Both the Russians and the United States said there were no reported casualties. Syria says three people were hurt near Homs. "Its position in the Syrian conflict remains strong and the focus of the response to the US-led strikes will be on regaining control of additional territories in the country".

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called the strikes a "necessary and appropriate military intervention".

There was "information" that showed that both sarin and chlorine were used in the most recent chemical weapons attack in Syria, prompting the United States strikes, the official said on Saturday.

The focus will be in Douma, and the visit by the OPCW inspectors.

The strikes, launched from US bomber jets, warships, and an attack submarine along with French and British fighter jets, ratcheted up tensions in the multi-sided conflict. "No other group" could have carried out that attack, May said, adding that the allies' use of force was "right and legal".

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