European leaders back Syria strikes, warn against escalation

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Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that the strikes would have "a destructive effect on the entire system of worldwide relations". Saturday while the Pentagon said its initial assessment was that a powerful pre-dawn missile barrage by the United States, Britain and France had "degraded" but may not have fully destroyed Syria's chemical weapons stockpiles.

The council failed on Tuesday to approve three draft resolutions on chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

Western powers said on Saturday their missile attacks struck at the heart of Syria's chemical weapons programme, but the restrained assault appeared unlikely to shift the course of the 7-year-old civil war.

"The Assad regime, Russian Federation and Iran have gone so far in the war against the Syrian people using all sorts of weapons, including chemicals".

"The evil and the despicable attack left mothers and fathers, infants and children, thrashing in pain and gasping for air". Evidence that the nerve agent sarin was also used was inconclusive, he said.

Mr Al Wawi's family hails from Douma, the target of a chemical attack on April 7 that triggered Saturday's military response by the U.S. and its allies. Putin added that Russian military experts who inspected Douma found no trace of the attack. He criticized the USA and its allies for launching the strike without waiting for worldwide inspectors to complete their visit to the area. Both leaders affirmed that our joint airstrikes were successful and necessary to deter Assad from any further use of chemical weapons. The vessels were located in the Red Sea, the Gulf and the eastern Mediterranean.

Russia's proposal to resolve Friday's military strikes orchestrated by the United States, Britain and France against Syria has been rejected by the U.N. Security Council. The airstrikes, she insisted, also do not represent a change in USA policy. He said the USA knew of no civilians killed by allied missiles. "This is hard to do in a situation like this", he said, in light of the volatility of chemical agents. Bashar Jaafari, the nation's U.N. ambassador, told the Security Council that 110 missiles came at Syria, but that 100 were shot down.

Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, director of the Joint Staff at the Pentagon, said Saturday that 105 U.S. and allied missiles were fired, of which 66 were Tomahawk cruise missiles launched from aboard three U.S. Navy ships and one Navy submarine.

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But Dr Basirini said he did not expect it to make a real difference.

"Today I ask all Americans to say a prayer for our Nobel warriors and our allies, as they carry out their missions".

Jim Mattis and Joseph Dunford at the Pentagon on April 13.

The second target was a chemical weapons storage facility west of the city of Homs.

Two sites were targeted west of Homs and one site was targeted in Damascus.

Western diplomats said they were ready to allow time for negotiations to make every effort to bring Russian Federation aboard. But the Syrian regime is refuting the effectiveness of those strikes.

By launching strikes without prior approval from parliament, Prime Minister Theresa May dispensed with a non-binding constitutional convention dating back to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, but said speed was essential and that military action was in the national interest. Damascus is still permitted to have chlorine for civilian use, although its use as a weapon is banned.

Since last year's strike, multiple chemical attacks have been reported in opposition areas, a lot of them involving chlorine rather than the nerve agent sarin, as was used in 2017, suggesting that the government may have adjusted its tactics. The strikes were launched at 9 p.m. ET, the early hours of Saturday morning for Europe and the Middle East. The air campaign could frustrate those in Trump's base who oppose military intervention and are wary of open-ended conflicts.

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Iran, which has also backed Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad since the conflict began in 2011, also warned of "regional consequences".

"A pre-designed scenario is being implemented", Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov said on Twitter.

"I spoke to the president this morning and he said: 'If the Syrian regime uses this poisonous gas again, the United States is locked and loaded, '" U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said, adding that when the president "draws a red line", he enforces it.

Trump on Friday ordered precise strikes against Syrian military facilities with Britain and France in a coordinated action.

"However, McKenzie acknowledged elements of Syria's chemical weapons programme remain and he could not guarantee that Syria would be unable to conduct a chemical attack in the future".

The following year, he wrote: "Remember the terrorists that Obama has been arming in Syria against Assad".

Indeed, Trump's "Mission Accomplished" tweet was an awkward - or taunting - reminder of the giant banner that famously served as a backdrop when President George W. Bush, wearing an aviator's flight suit, stood on the deck of an aircraft carrier six weeks after the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 and declared that major combat operations had ended.

Another official said, "We have incontrovertible evidence from the photos" that chemical weapons were used and it was "clear to the global community".

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"Last night, we obliterated the major research facility that it used to assemble weapons of mass murder", Haley said Saturday.

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