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Suspected Chemical Attack in Syria: What We Know and Don't Know

20 Avril 2018

This was the case in the last US attack against Syria, which followed a deadly sarin gas attack in the country's northwest. Shortly after the one-hour attack ended, vehicles with loudspeakers roamed the streets of Damascus blaring nationalist songs.

"Idlib is an important Syrian city, and we hope it will be liberated very soon with the determination of Syria and its fighters".

Damascus agreed to hand over its chemical arsenal in 2013, narrowly avoiding American and French air strikes in retaliation for a suspected sarin attack. -Russian collisions or confrontations in Syrian airspace. During one speech, he said, "We must as a nation be more unpredictable".

Trump and Western allies are now discussing possible military action to punish Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for a suspected poison gas attack on Saturday on a rebel-held town that long had held out against government forces.

Vice President Mike Pence, in Peru for a meeting of regional leaders, said "there will be a price to pay" involving military force if Syrian chemical weapons are used again.

One way to ensure Assad can not use such weapons is to conduct strikes on his chemical infrastructure, including by targeting factories and weapons holding areas.

USA officials have consulted with global allies on a possible joint military response to Syria's alleged poison gas attack.

Trump has slammed Russian Federation for its partnership with "Gas Killing Animal" Assad, spurring concerns that a USA strike could lead to a conflagration with Russian Federation, which has major military facilities at Tartus and Khmeimim and works cheek-by-jowl with Syria forces that could be targeted.

Defense Secretary James Mattis said Wednesday that the US and its allies are mulling how to respond to the attack. The network says the building in the research centre included an educational centre and labs.

Syrian television reported that Syria's air defenses, which are substantial, responded to the attack.

"Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria".

Syrian TV called the attacks a "blatant violation of worldwide law and shows contempt for global legitimacy". 'We struck a deal where we got 100 percent of the chemical weapons out, ' declared then-Secretary of State John Kerry on Meet the Press in 2014.

"It is irresponsible that he would just tweet out something specific about a strike when lives are at stake, not just lives on the ground, but American lives and probably allied lives", he said.

But the strike was limited and created to not draw America into the chaos of Syria's bloody civil war.

"We would have preferred an alternative path".

For days, Mr Trump has been sharpening his rhetoric against Syria and its backers, Russian Federation and Iran, calling Mr Assad an " animal" on Sunday.

Trump has consulted with U.S. allies, particularly France and the United Kingdom, about a coordinated response to the suspected chemical attack, but officials say they have not reached a firm agreement on scale or timing. That sealed a major victory for Assad in the war, crushing a protracted rebellion in the eastern Ghouta region near the capital Damascus. "Hopefully, someday we'll get along with Russian Federation, and maybe even Iran - but maybe not". It said that "all responsibility" rests with Washington, London and Paris.

The tweet came after the Russian ambassador to Lebanon said in an interview on Tuesday with Hezbollah-owned al-Manar TV that "if there is a United States missile attack, we - in line with both Putin and Russia's chief of staff's remarks - will shoot down U.S. rockets and even the sources that launched the missiles". Since that did not work, a more intense attack would aim to degrade his ability to carry out further such attacks, and would try to do this by hitting Syrian aircraft, military depots and chemical facilities, among other things.

He said the strikes were unlikely to curb the government's ability to produce or launch new attacks. Assad's apparent eagerness to use them must not be allowed to be viewed by others as a green light.

Trump said that he would make a decision about how to respond within a few days, adding that the United States had "a lot of options militarily" on Syria.

Despite the worldwide revulsion over chemical weapons attacks, the death toll from such incidents in Syria is only a fraction of the hundreds of thousands of combatants and civilians killed since the war erupted in 2011.

In his nationwide address, Trump stressed that he has no interest in a longtime fight with Syria.

Last month, almost seven years after then-President Barack Obama first declared that Assad must go, Army Gen. Joseph Votel, head of U.S. Central Command, told lawmakers that he did not know whether that objective remained U.S. policy. A US -led coalition has launched thousands of airstrikes - mostly on Islamic State and other extremist rebels.

Suspected Chemical Attack in Syria: What We Know and Don't Know