USA strike is a clear signal to Syria, Russia and Iran

USA strike is a clear signal to Syria, Russia and Iran

In the early hours of Saturday, the US, Britain and France launched a barrage of missile attacks against Syria in response to what they claim to have been a chemical attack by the Syrian government in the town of Douma in the suburb of Damascus on April 7.

Donald Trump hailed the strikes carried out against Syria by the US, UK and France as "perfectly executed" on Saturday, adding: "Could not have had a better result".

Defence Secretary James Mattis said the Assad regime had again made a decision to "defy the norms of civilised people" with the chemical attack, and that the intelligence-led strikes focused specifically on the regime's chemical weapons capabilities.

A U.S. strike a year ago when 59 missiles were fired in response to the use of poison gas on civilians failed to deter him. Here are a few key distinctions.

Defense Secretary James Mattis said Friday night that the United States was expecting a disinformation campaign by those aligned with the Assad regime.

The bombardment, including both cruise missiles and air-to-surface strikes, hit Syria around 4:00 am on Saturday (0100 GMT), jolting people awake in the capital's nearby residential neighbourhoods.

"A combined operation with the armed forces of France and the United Kingdom is now underway", President Trump said Friday night, when he announced the operation.

The Pentagon also disputed the Russian military's claims that Syrian air defense units had downed 71 out of 103 cruise missiles launched by the United States and its allies. He said the strikes were unlikely to curb the government's ability to produce or launch new attacks.

The use of chemical weapons, such as chlorine, sparks worldwide indignation but is far from being the most lethal weapon in the regime's arsenal.

Fortunately, however, Trump did appear to carefully and smartly avoid attacking Russian forces on the ground in Syria.

At a meeting of the U.N. Security Council Saturday, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley took aim at Russian ambassador Vasily Nebenzia over the "fake news". "Mission Accomplished!" he declared.

In separate calls, the Prime Minister spoke to the United States and French presidents to discuss the offensive and the three leaders agreed it had been a "success", a No 10 spokesman said.


The White House has given no timeline on any potential strategy to remove the roughly 2,000 USA troops in Syria.

Haley emphasized that, "We are prepared to sustain this pressure", on Syria if they continue to use chemical weapons.

"Engaging our military in Syria when no direct threat to the United States exists and without prior congressional authorization would violate the separation of powers that is clearly delineated in the constitution", the letter read.

The Pentagon said the US-led military campaign on Syria took out the "heart" of the country's chemical weapons program - but that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad still maintains "residual" capacity. US officials said they gave Russian Federation no specific warnings of the attacks or the targets, but used the usual hotline with Moscow's military to ensure the airspace was clear.

Only a fraction of the victims are thought to have been killed by chemical weapons. Russian Federation could also fire at the launch platforms used - potentially US planes or ships. "It was done on targets that we believed were selected to hurt the chemical weapons program".

"I have repeatedly expressed my deep disappointment that the Security Council failed to agree on a dedicated mechanism for effective accountability for the use of chemical weapons in Syria", he added.

The officials said the operation was carefully orchestrated and methodically planned to minimize potential damage, adding the U.S. is not aware of any civilian casualties.

The second target was a chemical weapons storage facility west of Homs believed to be the primary storage location of sarin gas in the country.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed support for the airstrikes while maintaining that Germany would not become involved in military action.

"We will not stand by passively while Assad, backed by Russian Federation and Iran, ignores global law", White said.

And she warned that Syria and its allies, which include Iran, should not be "foolish enough to test our will".

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