The prospect of Western military action in Syria that could lead to confrontation with Russian Federation hung over the Middle East on Friday but there was no clear sign that a us -led attack was imminent. A little after 9pm in Washington, there were reports of strikes on Damascus.
Friday's attack included "a little over double the number" of weapons than the assault past year, Mattis said.
Mr. Trump described a very specific type of target that the USA would go after, which are Syria's chemical weapon capabilities. Assad must face consequences for his war crimes, but Presidents can not initiate military action when there isn't an imminent threat to American lives.
Lavrov also said Russian specialists who examined the attack found no trace of chemical weapons.
The one-off missile strike in April 2017 targeted the airfield from which the Syrian aircraft had launched their gas attack.
"We used the normal deconfliction channel to deconflict airspace, we did not coordinate targets", Dunford said.
The strikes were the biggest intervention by Western powers against Assad in the country's seven-year-old civil war and pitted the United States and its allies against Russian Federation, which itself intervened in the war in 2015 to back Assad. "It is not about regime change".
"This massacre was a significant escalation in a pattern of chemical weapons use by that very bad regime", Trump said. Mr. Trump said. "The nations of the world can be judged by the fiends they keep".
Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Friday night that the US military, in conjunction with British and French forces, had targeted three sites - a scientific research center near Damascus, a chemical weapons storage facility near Homs and a storage facility and command post also near Homs.
British Prime Minister Theresa May said in London that the West had tried "every possible" diplomatic means to stop Assad from using chemical weapons.
"No final decision has been made" on Syria, Sanders said. Many politicians in Britain, including some in May's own Conservative Party, had called for parliament to be recalled from a break to give authority to any military strike.
The claim comes after a week in which Russian diplomats and military officers denied the attack happened, blamed the rebels for attacking themselves and accused foreign intelligence operatives. He described the main aim as establishing "a strong deterrent" against chemical weapons use.
"Maybe the regime will not use chemical weapons again, but it will not hesitate to use weapons the global community has allowed it, such as barrel bombs and cluster bombs", Hariri, head of the main Syrian opposition bloc, said in a tweet.
An Israeli official told CNN that the strikes enforced the red line drawn by President Trump past year.
The other two were storage facilities around Homs, a city to the north of Damascus.
Mr. Trump met with his national security team at the White House Wednesday afternoon to discuss options for striking the Syrian regime.
"It was a heavy strike", he said.
Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer is calling the airstrikes appropriate, but said "the administration has to be careful about not getting us into a greater and more involved war in Syria". "But right now we have no additional attacks planned".
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