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Trump speaks to UK, French leaders after strikes

15 Avril 2018

White agreed with the president, adding that "what happens next depends on what the Assad regime decides to do, and what the Russian government decides to enable". Western powers are blaming the attack on the Syrian government and its allies Russian Federation and Iran, which are denying the attack took place.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the military action against Syria was legally questionable and makes real accountability for war crimes less likely.

The attack involved munitions fired from aircraft and naval vessels, including about 100 Tomahawk cruise missiles, according to a Defense Department official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss operational details.

There was, however, a wider sense of relief that the strikes on three targets - believed to be research and storage cogs in Syrian's chemical weapons production - had not caused Russian casualties, which could have led to a direct confrontation between Washington and Moscow.

Lieutenant General Kenneth McKenzie, director of the United States military's Joint Staff, said the three facilities were the Barzeh research and development center on the outskirts of Damascus, a chemical weapons facility located outside Homs, and a nearby bunker facility.

Russian Federation has several military bases and thousands of troops in Syria, and the U.S. said Friday that it did not coordinate with or notify Russian Federation of the strikes.

Employees inside the institute said they were developing medications, not toxic chemical agents.

Speaking from rebel-held northern Syria, Abdulrazek told The Associated Press there were an estimated 50 warehouses around Syria that stored chemical weapons before the program was dismantled in 2013.

Four Royal Air Force Tornado GR4s joined the co-ordinated missile strikes at 2am, launching Storm Shadow missiles at a base 15 miles west of Homs. Both facilities are located near Homs, north of Damascus.

America fired 85 missiles, France 12 and Britain eight.

France's Emmanuel Macron said Thursday he had "proof" that the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had used chemical weapons, and would respond to it "at a time of our choosing".

"The evil and the despicable attack left mothers and fathers, infants and children, thrashing in pain and gasping for air".

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Berlin wanted to be consulted before any Western military action.

He added that Syria's air defenses were ineffective and that numerous more than 40 surface-to-air missiles fired by the Syrians were launched after the allied attack was over.

"Yes, where you see the smoke", he said. He said the US knew of no civilians killed by allied missiles.

Moving to return to diplomacy, France said it was working with the United States and Britain on a draft resolution that would address chemical weapons use, the humanitarian crisis and the future of the peace process in Syria.

Barack Obama first set his "red line" on the use of chemical weapons in 2012.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the strikes were "a calibrated, proportionate and targeted response".

"There is no practicable alternative to the use of force to degrade and deter the use of chemical weapons", May said in a statement.

Western governments, Al Bardan said, must "push Assad to sit at the negotiation table and be serious on a political transition".

Nikki Haley, the US's ambassador to the United Nations, said the USA would be "locked and loaded" if Assad used chemical weapons again.

In response, Trump tweeted that while Russian Federation vowed to protect Syria against attack, "Get ready Russian Federation, because [attacks] will be coming, nice and new and "smart!". "Not at this point in a civil war and bring the wrath of the whole world on his back", George said.

The limited airstrikes came at a time when the Assad government is feeling empowered after having secured the region near the capital following other military victories backed by Russian Federation and Iran in seven years of civil war.

Ahead of the latest strikes, Haley signaled in the Security Council on Friday that any action by Washington would not be in response to just the attack in Douma.

She added that while the mission in Syria remains defeating the Islamic State, which has seen its grip weaken in the region in recent months, the US will not allow Assad to attack "innocent Syrian people". "Mission Accomplished!" Trump said in a Twitter post. "They are fighting on so many fronts", Salamay said. European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted, "The E.U. will stand with our allies on the side of justice". "That's what we've always done and will continue to do", May said.

The United States and its allies said they hoped the attack would propel momentum toward the revival of peace talks in Geneva that have so far proved fruitless.

The Syrian regime has denounced the strikes as "brutal, barbaric aggression" by the West to prevent the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons from opening an investigation into the alleged attack in Douma, which was due to start on Saturday.

Republican House speaker Paul Ryan said Assad's "barbaric use of chemical weapons can not go unanswered".

I think it is right that the worldwide community has come together and said we will not accept this, she added.

Syrian officials have continually denied their forces used chemical weapons.

"The OPCW will still formulate its facts but the OPCW does not determine the responsibility".

"They're playing dirty", the official added.

Russian Federation has forcefully denounced a series of joint military strikes that the US, UK, and France launched against Syria late Friday.

"Again, we are being threatened", Antonov continued. "U.S. president, United Kingdom prime minister and the president of France are criminals", Khamenei said in a speech cited by Iranian TV.

"This is a very focused strike for one goal to make sure that countries around the world will not use weapons of mass destruction on a regular basis", he said.

Trump speaks to UK, French leaders after strikes