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Joint strikes in Syria draw mixed reactions from the Middle East

14 Avril 2018

In a statement the ministry said that of 103 cruise missiles fired in the USA -led airstrike, 71 were shot down by Syria's Soviet-made air-defense systems. Hollande also pushed for strikes against the Syrian regime following a chemical attack.

French President Emmanuel Macron said the response was "limited to the Syrian regime's capabilities to produce and use chemical weapons". U.S., British and French attack aircraft, including two U.S. Air Force B-1B strategic bombers, launched advanced missiles from outside Syrian airspace, officials said. They were very effective. "We expressly sought to avoid escalation and did everything to avoid civilian casualties". "We weren't trying to kill a lot of people", he said.

The Kremlin had warned Washington that Russian Federation would fend off any strike that jeopardized its servicemen in Syria, and the West respected the red line by giving advance notice of Saturday's attack, just as it did a year ago when it struck a Syrian air base.

The strikes on Syria were launched at 9 p.m. ET Friday, the early hours of Saturday morning for Europe and the Middle East.

Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White reiterated that the United States is only in Syria to fight the Islamic State group and does not want to get drawn into Syria's civil war.

Syria has denied using chemical weapons.

The allied attack set off a fierce global debate about whether it was justified.

Mr Mattis called the strikes a "one time shot", but Mr Trump raised the prospect of further strikes if Assad's government again uses chemical weapons. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, said that images of victims of the purported attack were fakes staged with "Britain's direct involvement", without providing evidence. He criticized the USA and its allies for launching the strike without waiting for worldwide inspectors to visit the area.

"The Arab Republic of Egypt expresses its solidarity with the brotherly Syrian people in their aspirations to live in security and stability", the ministry said in a statement.

"Since 2013 neither diplomatic action, tough sanctions, nor the USA strikes against the Shayrat airbase in April 2017 have sufficiently degraded Syrian chemical weapons capability or deterred the Syrian regime from causing extreme humanitarian distress on a large scale through its persistent use of chemical weapons", it said.

"I believe that the action taken will have significantly degraded the Syrian regime's ability to use chemical weapons", she said. Indeed, while the Pentagon did not forewarn or coordinate with Moscow, the United States used its bilateral deconfliction line to ensure that there were no unintended clashes with Russian forces.

Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the UN, defended the allied attacks on the suspected chemical weapons targets as "justified, legitimate, and proportionate", in response to a proposed Russian resolution to condemn the United States in an emergency session of the UN Security Council.

Russia's US embassy released a statement warning that the airstrikes will "not be left without consequences".

Washington, Paris and London said they have proof, without identifying it, that chlorine gas caused victims to suffocate.

The Pentagon released video April 14 of the joint missile strike against the Syrian regime in retaliation for the suspected April 7 chemical attack against civilians in Douma.

More: Syria conflict explained: How did we end up here?

A team of inspectors from the OPCW arrived in Syria on Thursday and Friday and had been expected to start their investigation into the alleged Douma attack on Saturday. But President Putin called the attacks an "act of aggression", stoking fears of a possible World War 3. He congratulated himself as well as allies for "their wisdom the power of their fine military" and that it "could not have had a better result".

Hundreds of Syrian citizens are demonstrating in a landmark square of the Syrian capital, waving victory signs and honking their auto horns in a show of defiance. Some clapped their hands and danced, others drove in convoys, honking their horns.

Story compiled with information from The Associated Press. They are in eastern Syria, far from Damascus.

Sami Nader, head of the Levant Institute for Strategic Affairs in Beirut, said "the sustainable involvement of the partnership with France and the United Kingdom will be a counterweight to Russian Federation and Iran in Syria".

Joint strikes in Syria draw mixed reactions from the Middle East