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Reports on new air base bombings a false alarm

17 Avril 2018

Germany's chancellor says the allied strikes in Syria were - in her words - a "necessary and appropriate" response to what the US and its allies say was a recent chemical attack in the Syrian city of Douma. The truth is that, despite these air strikes, the war is getting worse, not better, and the ferocious debate we are having in this country is nothing but a sideshow. "It was proportional", but he also warned that Syria probably could "re-create" its chemical weapons program.

· From the French side, the strikes involved 12 cruise missiles, fighter jets and warships.

Her office said she planned to tell them the strikes were "in Britain's national interest" and were carried out to stop further suffering from chemical weapons attacks. He told reporters then that "sometimes it's time to come back home and we're thinking about that very seriously".

What information about the strike remains unclear?

The OPCW team arrived in Syria shortly before the air strikes and met with Syrian officials.

A senior Israeli military official on Monday confirmed to the New York Times that it targeted the T4 airbase and said that it was the first time Israel targeted "live Iranian targets".

What was the result on the ground?

British Prime Minister Theresa May says the need to act quickly and protect what she calls "operational security" led her to decide to join the allied strikes in Syria without a prior vote in Parliament.

The inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons will try to determine whether chemical weapons had been used in the Douma attack.

Iraq's foreign ministry also warned that the strikes against Syria marked "a very risky development".

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad faced worldwide criticism for an alleged chemical attack involving chlorine gas on April 7 in the suburb of Douma.

Russian Federation and Syria have denied that chemical weapons were used at all and said their own investigators had been to the area and found no trace of them.

A photo released on April 14, 2018 on the Twitter page of the Syrian government's central military media on April 14, 2018 shows an explosion on the outskirts of Damascus after Western strikes reportedly hit Syrian military sites in and around the capital. Syria denies responsibility and says it gave up its chemical arsenal.

French President Emmanuel Macron revealed on Sunday that when he spoke to Mr Putin about the strikes he told him Russian Federation was complicit in the use of chemical weapons in Syria. The strikes were his first major military involvement since taking office past year.

"So proud of our great Military which will soon be, after the spending of billions of fully approved dollars, the finest that our Country has ever had", the president tweeted Saturday morning.

Trump tweeted "Mission Accomplished" on Saturday after U.S., French and British warplanes and ships launched more than 100 missiles almost unopposed by Syrian air defenses.

Prime Minister May defended the strikes as "right and legal", highlighting that the goal had been "to alleviate further humanitarian suffering".

On Saturday, German chancellor Angela Merkel backed airstrikes on three chemical weapons facilities in Syria and called them "necessary and appropriate".

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said he strongly supported the US, UK and France's airstrikes.

Haley made clear the United States won't be pulling troops out of Syria right away, saying USA involvement there "is not done".

But Johnson stressed the "overwhelming purpose" of the mission was a response to a series of chemical attacks in recent years.

And then there is the issue of motive: On the verge of victory after a brutal and costly war, does it make sense that Assad would opt to commit the one sure thing that would unite the global community against him, draw airstrikes by the United States and its coalition partners-and perhaps more?

Iran joined Russian Federation in condemning the strikes.

"Yet again, Russian Federation is spreading conspiracy theories and misinformation created to undermine the integrity of the OPCW's fact finding mission", Wilson said in a statement.

The conflict in Syria is deeply entrenched, and no end in sight.

Reports on new air base bombings a false alarm